Larson is an actor and producer down on her luck who decides to drive for a while to make some dough. She ends up with a reputedly well-compensated gig chauffering members of the Saudi royal family. They're in Beverly Hills for seven weeks and need a team of vehicles at their service at all times. Being at the beck and call of zillionaires 24x7 for 49 days straight is...wearing. Larson is the only lady in the fleet of drivers, which doesn't make her remotely popular with her coworkers, nor garner her much respect from her employers. Her gender does place her in high demand, though, for running errands like buying 27 boxes of a particular brand of depilatory or as many $500 pearl-encrused 44D Chantilly bras of an endanged make as possible.
She's only allowed to drive the women and eventually gets her primary charge--a 13-year-old princess who demanded and was provided a convertible (Mercedes, I think). Predictably, Larson forms her closest attachment with the servant girls, who are well-fed, but have no agency, and no access to their own passports. Larson reports that they have no time off, no days off.
Still and all, this seems like a tricky subject for a white, Christian American to write about. I found the story engaging, and the well-educated Larson isn't entirely without a socio-political critique. She was in a situation where she was very much the lesser power, the person of less privilege, but I still feel uncomfortable with her telling tales on another culture. I'm admittedly deeply ignorant about Saudi Arabia other than knowing that members of the royal family pal around with the Bush family. I'm not saying they're awesome.
It's a compelling read, and truth be told, I love learning about other cultures through memoir and fiction. The author definitely has a justifiable ax to grind and doesn't always come off looking like Ms. Perfect herself. The memoir began its life as a solo show at the NYC Fringe Festival, which I now wish I'd seen.