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And Then Life Happens: A Memoir

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A moving account by Auma Obama about of her life in Africa and Europe, and her relationship with her brother, Barack Obama.   While her younger brother Barack grew up in the U.S. and Indonesia, Auma Obama’s childhood played out at the other end of the world in a remote village in Kenya, the birthplace of the siblings’ shared f A moving account by Auma Obama about of her life in Africa and Europe, and her relationship with her brother, Barack Obama.   While her younger brother Barack grew up in the U.S. and Indonesia, Auma Obama’s childhood played out at the other end of the world in a remote village in Kenya, the birthplace of the siblings’ shared father. Barack and Auma met for the first time in the 1980s, and they built a lasting relationship which lead to travels together in Kenya, research into their family history and finally Auma’s support for her brother’s political career and eventual bid for the U.S. presidency.   Auma spent sixteen years studying and living in Germany, moved to England for love, and gave birth to a daughter there. T he tension between her original and chosen worlds and cultures was a constant challenge, and eventually Auma returned to Africa and worked to support young men and women in shaping their futures.   In And Then Lifew Happens, her candid and emotional memoir, Auma shares her own story as well as recollections of and experiences with her famous brother, who says about their first encounter: “I hugged her, we looked at each other, and laughed. I knew right then that I loved her.â€


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A moving account by Auma Obama about of her life in Africa and Europe, and her relationship with her brother, Barack Obama.   While her younger brother Barack grew up in the U.S. and Indonesia, Auma Obama’s childhood played out at the other end of the world in a remote village in Kenya, the birthplace of the siblings’ shared f A moving account by Auma Obama about of her life in Africa and Europe, and her relationship with her brother, Barack Obama.   While her younger brother Barack grew up in the U.S. and Indonesia, Auma Obama’s childhood played out at the other end of the world in a remote village in Kenya, the birthplace of the siblings’ shared father. Barack and Auma met for the first time in the 1980s, and they built a lasting relationship which lead to travels together in Kenya, research into their family history and finally Auma’s support for her brother’s political career and eventual bid for the U.S. presidency.   Auma spent sixteen years studying and living in Germany, moved to England for love, and gave birth to a daughter there. T he tension between her original and chosen worlds and cultures was a constant challenge, and eventually Auma returned to Africa and worked to support young men and women in shaping their futures.   In And Then Lifew Happens, her candid and emotional memoir, Auma shares her own story as well as recollections of and experiences with her famous brother, who says about their first encounter: “I hugged her, we looked at each other, and laughed. I knew right then that I loved her.â€

30 review for And Then Life Happens: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie M.g.

    Inspiring and educational story about a woman with a strong sense of pride in her cultural identity as a Kenyan and defining her place in a powerful family. She tells her coming of age story beautifully, while giving a glimpse of her relationship with her "little brother" Barack. Loved reading about Luo culture. Inspiring and educational story about a woman with a strong sense of pride in her cultural identity as a Kenyan and defining her place in a powerful family. She tells her coming of age story beautifully, while giving a glimpse of her relationship with her "little brother" Barack. Loved reading about Luo culture.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Auma Obama seems like a very nice person, and is very modest about her life as part of the complicated, multi-nationality, Obama family. But to be honest, this book might have been a better nice, long, Sunday magazine article or 60 Minutes special rather than a whole book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vered

    Go on a journey that starts in the villages of Kenya, includes its capital Nairobi, flits over to Germany, the UK, the US and then back home to Africa. Through her story, Auma Obama, sister to President Barak Obama, insights into Kenyan culture and recent history, the life of the Diaspora and the Obama family. A compelling read and definitely worth reading.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    Can't put it down - she writes with such clarity and detail from her childhood. Quite interesting to read about her and our now president, Barack Obama, relationship as it develops from their first meeting as young adults. Can't put it down - she writes with such clarity and detail from her childhood. Quite interesting to read about her and our now president, Barack Obama, relationship as it develops from their first meeting as young adults.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Ibarra

    Insightful book into the life of a strong women, who comes from a multifaceted family. I like that the book did not revolve around being Barack’s sister. She truly tells her own story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I enjoyed this book a lot! I grew up (teenage years) with Obama in office, so I wasn't quite aware of much of his policies or the politics of the age. I have since become interested and increasingly informed in our countries current controversies, but all I can seem to reflect on at this point specifically about Barack is his character and personage (this fact may be influenced by our recent election cycle and eventual 45th president). This book gave a little insight into what our 44th, a mythic I enjoyed this book a lot! I grew up (teenage years) with Obama in office, so I wasn't quite aware of much of his policies or the politics of the age. I have since become interested and increasingly informed in our countries current controversies, but all I can seem to reflect on at this point specifically about Barack is his character and personage (this fact may be influenced by our recent election cycle and eventual 45th president). This book gave a little insight into what our 44th, a mythical history-maker, was like before he haunted our living rooms and Facebook pages. That said, I also thoroughly enjoyed the book for the glimpse into Kenyan culture and family life it gave, as well as Auma's story itself. I won't say I agreed with every thing she did, but I really grew to like the woman (what, you can hear someone's story and like them even if you don't agree?!? what planet are we on here!!? *sarcasm*). Her reflections calmed me and distracted me from my own introspection, which I get carried away with sometimes. She has a spark, a spunk, whatever you'd like to call it, and I think I'd enjoy meeting her one day if the Lord ever arranged it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fatima Almehri

    The cover of the book says it all, it's Auma's memoir, it started to describe her life in Kenya with her family and then it moved to the next chapter of her life when she traveled to Germany after she got a scholarship to complete her studies in a German University. The book is good,it was written in German and translated to English, I love how simple the translation is. although the book isn't boring but i didn't feel motivated to finish it. The cover of the book says it all, it's Auma's memoir, it started to describe her life in Kenya with her family and then it moved to the next chapter of her life when she traveled to Germany after she got a scholarship to complete her studies in a German University. The book is good,it was written in German and translated to English, I love how simple the translation is. although the book isn't boring but i didn't feel motivated to finish it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Fadzai

    Having read Barack Obama's 'Dreams from my father', I wanted to know about and compare his sister's upbringing to his, in order to understand her as an individual and more generally the events that impact who we end up becoming. Her story is simply and honestly told, and at some points I found myself wondering what her relationships are like now with some of the people that she 'names and shames' in the book! Having read Barack Obama's 'Dreams from my father', I wanted to know about and compare his sister's upbringing to his, in order to understand her as an individual and more generally the events that impact who we end up becoming. Her story is simply and honestly told, and at some points I found myself wondering what her relationships are like now with some of the people that she 'names and shames' in the book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dickson Otieno

    Loved it. Auma really really knows how to capture and captivate you. Was reading just for fun. And then suddenly I was hooked. Maybe because from it I was also learning history about myself. Would totally recommend it to anyone who wants to live a different life because Auma's description made me feel like it was my life. Loved it. Auma really really knows how to capture and captivate you. Was reading just for fun. And then suddenly I was hooked. Maybe because from it I was also learning history about myself. Would totally recommend it to anyone who wants to live a different life because Auma's description made me feel like it was my life.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nandi Crawford

    I found this an interesting read. not because of the fact that she's the POTUS sister, but that she has had an interesting life. It is sad that the father made her leave her mother where she was loved and nurtured at to go be with Obama Sr and his third wife Ruth, who did try to love the children but it was hard for her to and preferred her kids more than them. so selfish. I found this an interesting read. not because of the fact that she's the POTUS sister, but that she has had an interesting life. It is sad that the father made her leave her mother where she was loved and nurtured at to go be with Obama Sr and his third wife Ruth, who did try to love the children but it was hard for her to and preferred her kids more than them. so selfish.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Salem Lorot

    By reading this autobiography, I have been able to understand who Auma Obama is: her thoughts, Obama Snr. , the Obama family, Barrack Obama, her love life, her dreams and so on. I find the language of love between Sarah Obama (Barrack's grandma) and Barry really touching. How she would say, "Give me high five" or her comment about Barrack's choice of Michelle: "Is good, is very good". By reading this autobiography, I have been able to understand who Auma Obama is: her thoughts, Obama Snr. , the Obama family, Barrack Obama, her love life, her dreams and so on. I find the language of love between Sarah Obama (Barrack's grandma) and Barry really touching. How she would say, "Give me high five" or her comment about Barrack's choice of Michelle: "Is good, is very good".

  12. 4 out of 5

    Peggy Jeffcoat

    This is an outstanding book by Barack Obama's half-sister. It focuses on her life, growing up in Kenya, then moving to Germany, England, and finally back to her homeland. It, of course, touches on her relationship with her brother, but that is really only a small part of the book. This is an outstanding book by Barack Obama's half-sister. It focuses on her life, growing up in Kenya, then moving to Germany, England, and finally back to her homeland. It, of course, touches on her relationship with her brother, but that is really only a small part of the book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Munira

    Interesting story .. About an interesting woman At first i thought i will read a book about barak obama mainly but i was wrong .. I read a story about a simple but yet great and inspiring woman .. Loved the detailed description of emotions, events, places.. In a simple language

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michaela

    It was interesting and certainly a life far different than mine. She comes across a little selfish but who doesn't in an autobiography. Interesting insight into the family dynamics of President Obama. It was interesting and certainly a life far different than mine. She comes across a little selfish but who doesn't in an autobiography. Interesting insight into the family dynamics of President Obama.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Frodo

    I enjoyed reading about President Obama's older sister, how she grew up, her family and her thoughts about Barack. I enjoyed reading about President Obama's older sister, how she grew up, her family and her thoughts about Barack.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Bruggink

    This was a really interesting book!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Wendie

    Didn't get very far into book. Lost interest. Didn't get very far into book. Lost interest.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Great read about our President's sister in Kenya, her experience getting caught between cultures, in Europe and the USA, an amazing journey for sure. Great read about our President's sister in Kenya, her experience getting caught between cultures, in Europe and the USA, an amazing journey for sure.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

    Beautiful!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sherie

    She is a very interesting woman but if you want to read about President Obama you should choose another book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anika

    Not sure why but the book just didn't grap me at all. I found it boring and nothing really got interesting until the end when she finally meets Barack. Not sure why but the book just didn't grap me at all. I found it boring and nothing really got interesting until the end when she finally meets Barack.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marsha

    Not terribly well written, but interesting enough.

  23. 4 out of 5

    thewhiteradish

    Interesting start but slows down

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dokusha

    Die Halbschwester des ehemaligen amerikanischen Präsidenten führt ein bewegtes Leben in verschiedenen Kulturen und Ländern. Kenia, Deutschland und England sind ihre Wohnorte, und auch ihre Partner kommen aus verschiedenen Ländern. Sie schreibt locker und unaufgeregt und man kann das Buch gut und zügig durchlesen. Ich gestehe, dass ich mit der weit verzweigten Familie nicht immer klar gekomnen bin und öfter mal den Faden verloren habe, wer jetzt wer ist, aber das hat nicht wirklich gestört. Und i Die Halbschwester des ehemaligen amerikanischen Präsidenten führt ein bewegtes Leben in verschiedenen Kulturen und Ländern. Kenia, Deutschland und England sind ihre Wohnorte, und auch ihre Partner kommen aus verschiedenen Ländern. Sie schreibt locker und unaufgeregt und man kann das Buch gut und zügig durchlesen. Ich gestehe, dass ich mit der weit verzweigten Familie nicht immer klar gekomnen bin und öfter mal den Faden verloren habe, wer jetzt wer ist, aber das hat nicht wirklich gestört. Und interessant ist es allemal, was sie so erlebt hat - auch ohne Barack, der im Buch tatsächlich nur eine Nebenrolle spielt.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    This is a fascinating book from Barack Obama's sister, who grew up in Kenya with their father. Having read "Dreams from my Father" Obama's biography, it was really interesting to read about the actual experience of growing up in Kenya and the complicated family ties. Auma Obama's life is also worthy to be read about it in its own right. Her style of writing is very engaging and she recalls her experiences vividly and often with good humour. Plus the fact she's lived not only in Kenya, but Germany This is a fascinating book from Barack Obama's sister, who grew up in Kenya with their father. Having read "Dreams from my Father" Obama's biography, it was really interesting to read about the actual experience of growing up in Kenya and the complicated family ties. Auma Obama's life is also worthy to be read about it in its own right. Her style of writing is very engaging and she recalls her experiences vividly and often with good humour. Plus the fact she's lived not only in Kenya, but Germany and England too gives the book an international feeling as well. Definitely a good read!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Read.And.Create

    Eine starke Frau mit einem interessanten Lebensweg! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Ich habe zwar schon spannendere Bücher gelesen, aber bereut habe ich den Kauf und die investierte Zeit definitiv nicht. Es ist nicht nur die Geschichte von Barak Obamas Schwester, sondern viel mehr ein Einblick in die Kultur der Luo, das Aufwachsen in Kenia und das Leben einer Afrikanerin in der Fremde.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Auma Obama ist ohne Zweifel eine bemerkenswerte Frau und hat in ihrem Leben viele Stationen durchlaufen. Ihre Autobiografie konnte mich aber nicht wirklich abholen. Oft wirkten Kapitel und Absätze etwas aus dem Zusammenhang gerissen, es fehlt der rote Faden. Es wirkt eher wie für sie selbst zu therapeutischen Zwecken geschrieben oder für Freunde und Bekannte als Rekapitulation als für Fremde.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tania Joy

    So insightful. An easy read about Barack Obama’s sister and her life. A strong female character with a passion for learning and ultimately helping others.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kate Cubitt

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michelle A

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