DRIVING THE SAUDIS by Jayne Amelia Larson

DRIVING THE SAUDIS

A Chauffeur's Tale of the World's Richest Princesses (and their servants, nannies, and one royal hairdresser)
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The engaging memoir of a struggling Hollywood actress/producer's experiences working as the chauffeur for the women of the Saudi royal family.

Working as a professional limousine driver was the last thing Larson ever thought she would have to do. But with $40,000 in accumulated debts and no steady acting or producing jobs on the horizon, she had no choice. Just as she was "hitting rock bottom,” she was hired to drive the female members of the Saudi royal family and their entourage around Los Angeles. Larson knew that she would have to be "available 24/7, seven days a week, for perhaps as long as seven weeks straight.” She was to "be seen and not heard" and could never contradict the demands made of her, no matter how outrageous. She ferried female royals to and from plastic surgery offices and exclusive Rodeo Drive stores and readily solved such urgent problems as procuring every color she could find of a $500 Chantilly bra for a princess eager to show off her "new boobs.” At the same time, she also caught sometimes poignant glimpses into an adamantly traditional world that devalued women and restricted their freedom. Larson found unexpected allies in the teenage serving girls who waited on the princesses, virtual slaves without access to their own passports. No one, including the author herself, escapes Larson's witty scrutiny. The Saudi royals may have been blind to ordinary reality, but Larson, who "did it for the money,” was equally blind to the fact that to her employers, she was just a woman and a servant driving other women.

Sharp-eyed and humane.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4516-4001-4
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Free Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2012




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