Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren
Jillian Lauren grew up an adopted child in a New Jersey Jewish family with a dad who had a horrible temper to the point of physical abuse and a mom who did nothing about it. Lauren left her house still a teenager and started dancing at clubs, eventually joining an escort services. She was interviewed for a position within the harem of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, brother to the Sultan of Brunei. Lauren accepts the job and flies over to Brunei with a couple of other American girls and becomes part of the craziness in the Prince's world. There are parties with many other girls from all over the world that last until the wee hours of the morning. The Prince takes one girl each night to have sex and some times during the day girls could get called. They usually get jewellery for their troubles. These girls get paid handsomely for their troubles before they are sent on their way back home.
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.
First Line: "The Shah's wife was unfaithful to him, so he cut off her head and summarily declared all women to be evil and thereby deserving of punishment."