Audiobook Review: What Would Cleopatra Do?

What Would Cleopatra Do?: Life Lessons from 50 of History's Most Extraordinary Women
by Elizabeth Foley,  Beth Coates
Narrated by: Madeleine Maby
Length: 5 hrs and 25 mins
Release date: 11-06-18
Simon Schuster Audio


Irreverent and inspirational, What Would Cleopatra Do? shares the wisdom and advice passed down from Cleopatra, Queen Victoria, Dorothy Parker, and forty-seven other heroines from past eras on how to handle an array of common problems women have encountered throughout history and still face today.

What Would Cleopatra Do? tackles issues by reminding us of inspiring feminists from the past, telling their stories with warmth, humor, and verve. From sticking up for yourself, improving body image, deciding whether to have children, finding a mentor, getting dumped, feeling like an impostor, being unattractive, and dealing with gossip, we can learn a lot by hearing the motivational stories of heroic women who, living in much tougher times through history, took control of their own destinies and made life work for them.

Here are Cleopatra’s thoughts on sibling rivalry, Mae West on positive body image, Frida Kahlo on finding your style, Catherine the Great on dealing with gossip, Agatha Christie on getting dumped, Hedy Lamarr on being underestimated—to list only a few—as well as others who address dilemmas including career-planning, female friendship, loneliness, financial management, and political engagement.

My Thoughts

I love to read about amazing women who changed the status quo of their time. Women who didn't take no for an answer. Women who didn't buy into the philosophy that they were only made for domesticated chores and childbirth. While strides have been made toward equality, we still have a way to go.

Elizabeth Foley and Beth Coates have written the book, What Would Cleopatra Do? to focus on some of history's most influential women. Women that can teach us a thing or two about how to handle adversity, how to deal with loss, feeling like an impostor, and much much more.

The book is comprised of 50 women, but we all know there could be libraries filled with all the contributions women have made to society. I enjoyed reading about women I was already familiar with, such as Emily Dickinson, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Dorthy Parker, but I was overjoyed to meet some new women whose stories I had yet to hear, such as Akiko Yosano, Wang Zhenyi, and Grace Hopper. I'm not sure about the selection process the authors used to decide on which women to put in this novel. They could write a sequel and still have room for more.

I listened to this as an audiobook and loved it. It is narrated by Madeleine Maby, who did a wonderful job. Each woman's profile was about five minutes long. Just enough time to give you a brief rundown on their lives. The book includes illustrations, but since I listened to the audio, I missed out on them. I would have loved if this book went a little deeper into their lives, but I'll have to do that on my own time.

If you need some motivations, you'll find it here. What Would Cleopatra Do? is filled with extraordinary women who defied their times. Scientists, actresses, writers, civil rights leaders, and athletes, they didn't have an easy path, but they certainly cleared away some debris so that later generations would have an easier path. This is a great book to gift to the women in your life. It will encourage, uplift, and inspire them.

*I received a digital copy of this book thanks to Simon and Schuster Audio. This is no way influenced my opinion of the book.