Eliza's Reviews > Some Girls: My Life in a Harem

Some Girls by Jillian Lauren
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's review
Jul 20, 10

bookshelves: memoirs
Read from July 19 to 20, 2010

My first thought when starting this book is that it probably takes place in a huge palace in a Muslim Middle Eastern country, like Saudi Arabia or Dubai. In fact, although there is a huge palace and Islamic faith the story instead is located in Brunei, a country on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. My second stereotype was that these women would be stuck in an undesirable situation with no freedom that they'd be very lucky to escape from. This too was wrong, the protagonist was basically free to come and go at will from the country. Although while under the employment of the prince she was expected to follow customs & rules, she had the choice to decide when she wanted out. From this point on, I pretty much turned off the stereotypes.

Brunei is a very small country about the size of Delaware that sits atop massive oil reserves. Because the population is low, there is a huge per capita revenue from oil, and the royal family spends much of this however it wishes, while at the same time offering free education & health care to its people. One of the princes uses his wealth to have beautiful women from around the world at his beck & call, including American women. He lavishes these girls with outrageous gifts & cash.

Although the story seems at time unbelievable, the author's history, coming-of-age, & personal thoughts and dreams make the story more readable.

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