The longest-serving senior advisor in the Obama White House shares her journey as a daughter, mother, lawyer, business leader, public servant, and leader in government at a historic moment in American history.
Alas, Finding My Voice is keenly disappointing. It suffers from faintness of voice. Jarrett’s diffidence precludes the self-revelation that a reader rightly expects of a memoir. One will not find here candid, surprising, ruminative unveilings. She does describe the unraveling of her marriage, which she portrays as the single biggest pratfall in her otherwise blessed life. But even in that portrayal, she pictures herself guilty only of naivete; the husband was an apparently good catch who proved to be rotten ... Jarrett’s account of her doings in the White House is similarly wan ... Jarrett depicts herself as a race woman, self-consciously concerned with advancing the fortunes of black Americans. But she largely overlooks the intra-racial debates that vex politically self-aware black Americans.
Jarrett’s quiet determination, unparalleled work ethic, and deep commitment to a city rich with family roots won her respect at a time when, as a newly divorced single mother, she needed it most. Revisiting her illustrious career, from inner-city Chicago to the White House and beyond, Jarrett reveals the life-changing events that, though perilous at the time, enabled her to become a virtuoso corporate and philanthropic leader, and a valued presidential adviser.
[Jarrett's] account of her years in the administration shifts smoothly between her own work life, including the mentoring of young female staff members, and a broader consideration of the administration's goals. She gives special consideration to the challenges of passing the Affordable Care Act, and while she clearly chooses her words carefully, her frustration with what she sees as the recalcitrant Republicans in Congress sometimes breaks through ... A modest and insightful addition to a growing shelf of books by insiders from the Obama administration.