A Someday Courtesan

A Memoir in Stories

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
508 Pages
Reviewed on 04/16/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

A Someday Courtesan: A Memoir in Stories is a work of non-fiction by Sephe Haven in the memoir and autobiographical writing subgenres. It is intended for the adult reading audience, owing to the presence of explicit sexual discussions and sensitive subject matter such as rape and abortion. A sometimes harrowing and occasionally whimsical look at coming of age and working as an escort, this work is a life told in episodes that each contain special meaning for the author and will surely touch the hearts of many different kinds of people in the wider readership. The work also examines the nature of growing up female in modern-day America.

Sephe Haven delivers a work like nothing I have ever read before, with plenty of fascinating anecdotes and valuable life lessons to learn and share in every evocative chapter. One of the features which I enjoyed most about the work was the honesty and sensitivity of the author, who relates some extremely personal experiences but relives those moments with empowerment and a critical eye cast over her shoulder. There is no glossing over or idealizing in Haven’s take on the influences that led her to the life she has lived, and I felt an immense sense of pride in reading such a bold journey of discovery and affirmation, despite the many ups and downs an individual’s life can take. I found A Someday Courtesan to be a highly engrossing read with as much joy as it has hardship, and I think it will suit fans of true-life tales, motivational memoirs, and reflective, emotive writing styles.

Vincent Dublado

A Someday Courtesan: A Memoir in Stories by Sephe Haven presents one woman’s life story that is compelling and important. Not even in her wildest dreams did the author expect to work as a courtesan, and as she looks back through this candid memoir, she presents the crux of the choice that she made and the societal elements that she must carefully tread. She reveals that she doesn’t fit into the stereotypical reasons like daddy issues, childhood abuse, greed, laziness, or lack of morality. In fact, she had more opportunities while growing up compared to other young women. Things that happened to her didn’t happen to everyone, but she boldly attempts to answer what it means to grow up female in America.

A Someday Courtesan provides a great deal of insight into one woman’s experience of how the escort profession works and how she ventured into a career that no girl, not even her, ever dreamed of becoming. Sephe Haven opens her life in an impassioned narrative as she navigates her life as a courtesan, tracing her girlhood in a restrictive society. It’s an eye-opening story, one that tells us that while our free society embraces social justice and equality, it still has a long way to go as many of us still expect certain things that a woman should do. Given Haven’s lived experiences and how she embarks on building a sense of self, anyone interested in women’s studies and life writing will find this memoir a must-read. This is a woman’s voice, a woman’s experience, that should be given plenty of room on the shelves and in public discourses.

Jamie Michele

A Someday Courtesan by Sephe Haven is a non-fiction “Memoir in Stories” in which the author offers a look back at her coming-of-age and how it led up to the events of the first book in the wildly well-received My Whorizontal Life series, An Escort's Tale: The First Six Months. Haven walks readers through her memories of growing up knowing she was different and embracing it fantastically. Early relationships happen, one impactful but not incredibly meaningful, and one that is so profoundly raw and beautiful and painful that it hurts to read. She is an old soul but still very naïve. She is taken advantage of and has difficulty finding her place among others her age. She is taken advantage of again in the most horrible way, And then...she starts making her own choices. She chooses a path. Two, actually. One as an actress, and one where she is whorizontal.

Whatever you think you know about how women “fall” into prostitution, you don't know the whole story. Sephe Haven gives us hers in A Someday Courtesan, and it is intelligent, warm, sad, infuriating, and powerful. The writing is superb and the pacing is brilliant. I was desperate to wring her neck many times, and then wrap her in a blanket and hold her and tell her not to worry. That everything will be okay. I can see how Haven's experiences in An Escort's Tale, which I also read and loved, are founded on these stories. I recall she was part of an acting group but the crushing debt and the ease with which she assimilated to part-time work for more money than people make in a year is where the former book picks up. I'm quite glad I read that one first because where she is wholly self-assured in An Escort's Tale, A Someday Courtesan would be harder to digest if I didn't know she made a roaring success of it. This is another great book by Haven and I am so happy to have stumbled upon it. Very highly recommended.