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

Some Girls by Jillian Lauren
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May 01, 11

Read in May, 2011

Some Girls: My Life in a Harem — an absolutely amazing read. Go inside a world so foreign, and yet so familiar with the female competition and power struggles that occupy the scores of women in a modern harem in Brunei. Women from all over the globe. Some trashy, some classy, and some seeming like Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ just recognizing, "this isn't Kansas anymore . . . "

A striking thing about the existence of sex-worker mistresses of a madly outrageous, country-owning, oil-slick rich son of a Sultan is what Jillian at one point calls the "skull crushing boredom" of the day to day existence in the palace. Pretty prisoners, they are cloistered like inhabitants of a convent of high end prostitutes. Just how a middle-class teenager from New Jersey who first runs the short but immense distance to New York City to be an actor then succumbs to the allure of a Southeast Asian harem is a story it took Jillian 17 years to write. Punctuated by memories of her adopted childhood and mood-swinging abusive father, it's not so hard to see how, well, one thing leads to another. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. She copes by perfecting the art of dissociation — leaving her body and watching the goings on from outside herself.

Jillian was also a budding artist in those days, and while her acting career careened in the gold-dust, the artist emerged as a true storyteller, poetic writer, with unabashed truth — and some glorious tattoos along the way. The lyrical writing and insight combined with a one-of-a-kind story make this one the most memorable memoirs to be published in a very long time.

She's got a novel coming out later this year — can't wait to see her turn at fiction. It's called "Pretty" and it's on my watchlist.

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