REALITY CAN BE STRANGER THAN FICTION
Title: Some Girls: My Life in a Harem
Author: Jillian Lauren
A jaw-dropping story of how a girl from the suburbs ends up in a prince’s harem, and emerges from the secret Xanadu both richer and wiser
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.
Jillian shares her very personal and very private experiences with her readers as though she is telling the story to a trusted friend. There is no detail left behind, no gritty truth unrevealed and no emotional reality masked. Some Girls gives readers an insight into what would have been a very secretive world of power, prestige, excess and intrigue.
I appreciated Jillian Lauren’s frank and direct delivery. It is hard not to empathize with her. While she was obviously dealing with some severe emotional difficulties and obstacles at that time in her life, her straightforward reflection on the events gives readers insight into her humanity. We are on this journey with her, through her struggles with her feelings about what – not to mention who – she is doing, right through to her escape from emotional entrapment and the discovery that she can move on and find happiness.
The whole time I was reading this book I felt like I had gained access to privileged information and that was what made the story so interesting. Although the depth of betrayal present and the unfathomable lifestyle portrayed seems like fiction, the fact that this story is a non-fiction memoir is mind blowing.
Jillian Lauren’s story is an intriguing adventure from start to finish. I admire her bravery for sharing her involvement in such a socially visible scandal – financial benefits aside – as her experiences will surely have an impact on women who may resort to extremes for success, money or simple survival.