Review: My Friend Anna – The True Story of the Fake Heiress of New York by Rachel DeLoache Williams

Title: My Friend Anna – The True Story of the Fake Heiress of New York

Author: Rachel DeLoache Williams

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Quercus

The Blurb

How does it feel to be betrayed by your closest friend? A close friend who turns out to be the most prolific grifter in New York City…

This is the true story of Anna Delvey, the fake heiress whose dizzying deceit and elaborate con-artistry deceived the Soho hipster scene before her ruse was finally and dramatically exposed.

After meeting through mutual friends, the ‘Russian heiress’ Anna Delvey and Rachel DeLoache Williams soon became inseparable. Theirs was an intoxicating world of endless excess: high dining, personal trainer sessions, a luxury holiday … and Anna footed almost every bill.

But after Anna’s debit card was declined in a Moroccan medina whilst on holiday in a five-star luxury resort, Rachel began to suspect that her increasingly mysterious friend was not all she seemed.

This is the incredible story of how Anna Sorokin conned the high-rollers of the NYC social scene and convinced her close friend of an entirely concocted fantasy, the product of falsified bank documents, bad cheques and carefully edited online photos.

Written by Rachel DeLoache Williams, the Vanity Fair photography editor who believed Anna’s lies before helping the police to track her down (fittingly, deciphering Anna’s location using Instagram), this is Catch Me If You Can with Instagram filters. Between Anna, Fyre Festival’s Billy McFarland (Anna even tried to scam Billy) and Elizabeth Holmes, whose start-up app duped the high and mighty of Silicon Valley, this is the year of the scammer.

*Anna stood a high-profile trial in New York that has been followed voraciously by the media. She was found guilty of theft of services and grand larceny, facing up to 15 years in prison. The trial ended on 25th April.*

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

My Friend Anna was an interesting book to read in that it made me feel a mixture of emotions. It is the true crime story of Anna Delvey. A young wannabe who managed to convince others that her social status was bigger than it actually was. She presented herself as a socialite heiress, the heiress to a fortune but nothing could be farther from the truth. It was through her deception that she managed to swindle money from people who she befriended. One of those was Rachel DeLoache Williams, the author of this book.

So, initially I was quite harsh on the author. I couldn’t believe that she had been so silly and so naïve to get herself into such a predicament. Where I saw alarm bells, in reality DeLoache Williams sustained a friendship with Anna Delvey. I kept saying to myself that this could never happen to me…mainly because I bees broke broke but also because I wouldn’t ever be that foolish but that is the thing with manipulative people. You can be the most astute, streetwise person but if someone who is a master manipulator wants your money they will stop at nothing to get it.

The turning point in my feelings towards the situation came through further interactions between DeLoache Williams and Delvey. Anna Delvey presented herself as quite sociopathic. Her actions were actually quite unnerving. It was at that point I became a bit more sympathetic to DeLoache Williams’ plight.

My Friend Anna highlights the scary nature of friendship in an Instagrammable society where social standing and hierarchy can sometimes be faked just by using the right filter.

My Friend Anna – The True Story of the Fake Heiress of New York by Rachel DeLoache Williams is available now.

For more information regarding Rachel  DeLoache Williams (@racheldeloache) please visit www.racheldeloachewilliams.com.

For more information regarding Quercus (@QuercusBooks) please visit the Twitter page.

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