Some Girls: My Life in a Harem
2 journalers for this copy...
At eighteen, Jillian Lauren was an NYU theater school dropout with a tip about an upcoming audition. The "casting director" told her that a rich businessman in Singapore would pay pretty American girls $20,000 if they stayed for two weeks to spice up his parties. Soon, Jillian was on a plane to Borneo, where she would spend the next eighteen months in the harem of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, youngest brother of the Sultan of Brunei, leaving behind her gritty East Village apartment for a palace with rugs laced with gold and trading her band of artist friends for a coterie of backstabbing beauties.
More than just a sexy read set in an exotic land, Some Girls is also the story of how a rebellious teen found herself-and the courage to meet her birth mother and eventually adopt a baby boy.
Lauren manages to become one of Jefri's favourites. She's frequently called on and though she's not in love with him, she does feel some tenderness towards Jefri. Lauren stays around Brunei for a while but starts to feel empty inside and eventually returns home. Not surprisingly, there was typical drama that happens between women when fighting over a man. Sort of like The Bachelor but with higher stakes.
Lauren is very honest about her history and her flaws. The honesty makes her come off a bit abrasive at times, which rubbed me the wrong way at the beginning of the book but I eventually got used to it. For the most part, Lauren tells her history and doesn't judge other but there was one section of the book that pissed me off:
"In fact, the girls who came from normal jobs, normal boyfriends, normal lives were the quickest to lap up the new lifestyle. I was embarassed for them, the way they drooled all over their Rolex birthday presents. Just because you're sequestered in some parallel-universe sorority house doesn't mean you can't have a little dignity."
Really Lauren? A little dignity? Because travelling half the way around the world to be a prince's prostitute means you are 100% dignified. Wow. This part of the book kind of ruined it for me. I was having a tough time connecting with and caring for Lauren but was managing to maintain enough of a balance of respect until this line.
Putting aside Lauren herself, it was rather interesting to read about a world that otherwise I would know nothing about. It was kind of sad at the same time too. Though Lauren tried to indicate that the girls didn't mind much, it obviously tore some of them apart. This really is a rather sad story of what women will do for money.
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