28 September 2010

Some Girls

(My Life in a Harem)

by Jillian Lauren

Random House Australia, Autobiography , Paperback, rrp $ 34.95

I was expecting excitement and exotica. Even a little erotica. The reality of Jillian Lauren’s experience of life in a harem was none of these things. It was an existence ruled by the struggle for the prince’s attention and the accompanying position and power it brought within the harem’s social hierarchy.

Jillian Lauren wanted to be an actress. But minor opportunities and seedy roles found her working in a strip club to pay the bills. The promise of good money in return for livening up the parties of a rich businessman for two weeks was an offer too good to refuse.

Prince Jefri Bolkiah was the youngest brother of the Sultan of Brunei. He lived a life of extravagant luxury, surrounded by a changing carousel of beautiful women. Despite her initial cynicism, Jillian soon discovered that like all the girls in the harem, she was in love with ‘Robin’, as the prince was known. Expensive gifts were valueless compared to a night spent in his company.

Jillian actively participated in the jealous schemes and alliances within the harem, trying to enhance her position and the prospect of time with Robin. She became a favourite and when her contract expired, she stayed in Brunei.

But rugs and riches do not equal happiness and Jillian eventually left to rebuild a life in New York and write this autobiographical account. Some Girls will appeal to those who have secretly wondered about life in a harem. Many, like me, will be surprised at what they discover.


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