A Woman Makes a Plan: Book Review

Let’s go through Maye Musk’s “A Woman Makes a Plan” and talk about all the good, the bad and the in-between.

I haven’t really written a book review before, but this felt like the right time to start. I’ve been following Maye on Instagram for a while and I was excited when I found out she was coming out with a book. I find her quite unique compared to other people in the modelling industry and I assumed her life is interesting. However, for some reason I never saw the book anywhere after and I forgot about it in a while.

Until December 2020.

Apparently, a year after it’s publishing, it finally became available in Bulgaria. This provoked my interest again and I immediately picked it up.

So, what do I think about it? Keep on reading for my review of A Woman Makes a Plan: Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty, and Success by Maye Musk.

Overview

A Woman Makes a Plan: Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty, and Success” is a book published in late 2019 by Maye Musk. As the name suggests, she is the mother of the widely known Elon Musk.

Maye is a successful dietitian and model. She’s been working in the industry for more than 50 years and is still active at her 72 years of age! You can often find her on Instagram, sharing her experiences from the biggest fashion capitals of the world.

As I mentioned, I am following her for a while. So, I was very excited for this reed. I bought the book with a lot of expectations.

When I first picked it up, I was surprised by how short it was. It comes to about 220 pages. I wouldn’t usually call this “short”. Yet, it felt so when it came to the autobiography of somebody with so much life experience.

Something I really liked about it was the simple and slick design – the title, her face on a black background. It felt classy and elegant.

It surely made me interested in reading it.

The book goes through the different phases of Maye’s life. From her unorthodox parents and upbringing in Africa, through her unhappy, abusing marriage to her life as an independent woman, mother and professional.

She had amazing stories about her adventures and her heartbreaks. Maye definitely had what to share and collected many unique experiences along the way. She managed to keep me entertained through most of the book.

Some of the things she talks about are so wild and unique, I think no one in today’s world would be able to say they lived through them. I was especially mesmerised by the stories of her wondering through the dessert with her family, meeting lions and flying on her parent’s plane.

I was so touched when I read about her unsuccessful marriage and all the obstacles she needed to overcome. I could not imagine being trapped in an abusive relationship, not only emotionally, but legally as well.

She did well in showing us that everyone has failure in their life – many times, over and over again. But that should not discourage us from chasing our dreams.

I really appreciated her sharing all the realisations she had about life, beauty, love and even grief. It was interesting to see someone so happy and comfortable in their skin, life and their age. I was reading, wishing to have the same attitude towards life in my 70s.

I especially enjoyed a part in which she discussed what it meant for her to be “beautiful”. This word’s meaning changed a lot for her through the years, finally gracing us with the words:

"be fascinating - it is better to be interesting than to be beautiful."

However, as much as I was in love with Maye, there were some aspects of the book I did not quite enjoy. So, let’s delve into all the good and bad.

The Good

As I already mentioned – Maye is all the good! She is very inspiring in many aspects of her personality. Maye is a courageous woman, an encouraging mother and devoted professional. She makes you see the good things in life, available in all ages. I enjoyed her view on love and how you should not stay in relationships just for the sake of being in one. I liked her calm demeanour. I longed for her big, happy family. Finally, I admired her wisdom and how comfortable she was in her age. There are many takeaways from this book about finding yourself and constantly building upon your foundations.

Comparing this book to some others, I think it was very sincere. It wasn’t a publicity stunt connected to her growing fanbase. I feel like she really had a lot to share and did it with the desire to inspire other women. Younger women like me, who are just now beginning the path she had walked. I appreciate it a lot for this reason.

The Bad

The things I did not like about this book come in the details.

The structure was interesting – in both the good and bad sense. It featured three main parts. The first one focused on her career as a model. The second was about her personal life, her childhood and struggles. The last one was about her work as a dietitian. I think the idea behind this was new and it sounds great. Yet, the execution was not so clear.

Throughout the first part I found myself wondering what the idea was behind all this. It had seemingly random chapters – about clothes, make-up and style. They were short and aimed at presenting her journey with the above mentioned, but failed at informing the reader. She did not provide the advice, promised in the title. The clothes and style – her friend did for her. Her make-up – created by artists. Her touch in all of this was minimal and the chapters felt flat and out of place.

When I reached the second part is when I got hooked. That’s where all the good stories were. All her life experiences we could learn from. But then why was it second? It did not make sense! I think she should have presented it chronologically. That would have made the flow better.

Another issue I had, (mostly stylistic) was the title. “A Woman Makes a Plan” often hints at the idea of creating a plan for your life, but staying flexible.

"live dangerously, carefully,"

However, when it came to advices about planning in the book, they lacked depth. Sometimes it felt like they added the word “plan” in the beginning of a chapter just to keep it consistent with the title.

Final thoughts

A Woman Makes a Plan is a book I would recommend. Especially to girls my age (early 20s). It shares an exciting and motivating story that most people would be inspired by. It gives an inner look of what encompasses all stages in a woman’s life. How you can conquer all, but fail others. How life may seem desperate at moments, but better days do come.

However, I wouldn’t call it groundbreaking. As much as I appreciate her wisdom, I’m not impressed with the advices she gives, especially in the field of beauty or modelling. Even she says that most of her successes were made by good people and luck. So if that was what interest you in the book, you will probably be disappointed.

This was the topic of the weekly thought snack on the go. Let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed the book or there is another you would like to recommend to me!

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