Rating:

Reviewed by Debbie V.

Some Girls: My Life in a Harem is a not only a gripping memoir about living life in a harem, but a memoir of a girl growing up and searching to find herself. Author Jillian Lauren chronicles her childhood in suburban New Jersey and her early adulthood as a NYU theater dropout. Her ambition to become an actress ultimately lands her the opportunity to become one of the many girlfriends in the harem of Prince Jefri, the younger brother of the Sultan of Brunei.

The author gives the reader glimpses into her world through flashbacks and dramatic vignettes. She details her fascination with show tunes and theater, which she shares with her father, but also finds him verbally abusive and critical, thus affecting the relationships with men in her life. Her search for her identity is also impacted by the fact that her and her brother are adopted, and she yearns to find her biological parents. Jillian eventually becomes disenchanted with the theater scene, taking jobs as a stripper and an escort to pay her rent until she learns she can make $20,000 for two weeks as a “guest” of Prince Jefri. She lands the job and ends up staying eighteen months in a prisoned paradise.

At first, the author is captivated by the wealth and charm of the Prince, going on fantastic shopping sprees and entertaining at the elaborate parties held at his estate. However, she is also isolated and lonely, allowed in the outside world for a minimum amount of time. Forced to room in close quarters with the other girlfriends, competition between the women ensues: petty jealousies and cat fights erupt between them all in pursuit of the Prince’s affection and a chance to be [amazonify]0452296315[/amazonify]his fourth wife. Jillian not only develops a sexual relationship with the Prince (whom she calls Robin), but she gets involved emotionally, seeking approval and affirmation from a man she sees as a father figure. She returns to New York with a new sense of self, discarding her identity as a sex object and going back to performing.

Some Girls is an intriguing read, with interesting back stories of celebrity and tales of teenage rebellion, and the journey of a young woman who went around the world and back to find her true identity.

My take on Some Girls (by Vera – Luxury Reading)

If you’re expecting a I-was-kidnapped-and-forced-to-live-in-a-harem story, Some Girls is not it. Perhaps there are harems where women are kept against their will, but according to Jillian’s story, the harem (if it can even be called that) was not one of them. Women were free to leave as they saw fit, but many stayed and tried to get on the Prince’s radar in the hopes of making more money and setting themselves up for life.

For more information, visit Jillian Lauren’s website.

This book was provided free of any obligation by Plume. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.