I would never have picked up this book had a friend not recommended it to me. I thought it might be self-congratulatory or preachy. But Melissa Gates is neither of those things. Quite the opposite: she is humble and refreshingly honest about how hard it can be to make change in the world. This book is about her work as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and in that role, Gates has had the opportunity to travel to some of the poorest corners of the globe. Just a few examples are her meetings with child brides in India, midwives in rural Rwanda, and a Filipina lawmaker who fought to make contraception legal in her country. The stories she shares are sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes uplifting, and always fascinating. She is candid about her struggles in the workplace, her disagreements with the Roman Catholic Church, and what it was like to become a public figure. Most of all, Gates makes a compelling case for how equal rights for women help everyone, everywhere. She argues passionately that the world could be a better place if we could all show more empathy and love. “Love is what lifts us up,” she says.
This book would make an outstanding read for book clubs, as it’s filled with profound topics for discussion. We’re adding it to our book club collection here at the library and I’d highly recommend it.