My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress by Rachel DeLoache Williams
Categories: Non-Fiction, True Crime
First Publication Date: July 23rd 2019
Vanity Fair photo editor Rachel DeLoache Williams’s new friend Anna Delvey, a self-proclaimed German heiress, was worldly and ambitious. She was also generous. When Anna proposed an all-expenses-paid trip to Marrakech, Rachel jumped at the chance. But when Anna’s credit cards mysteriously stopped working, the dream vacation quickly took a dark turn. Anna asked Rachel to begin fronting costs—first for flights, then meals and shopping, and, finally, for their $7,500-per-night private villa. Before Rachel knew it, more than $62,000 had been charged to her credit cards. Anna swore she would reimburse Rachel the moment they returned to New York.
Back in Manhattan, the repayment never materialized, and a shocking pattern of deception emerged. Rachel learned that Anna had left a trail of deceit—and unpaid bills—wherever she’d been. Mortified, Rachel contacted the district attorney, and in a stunning turn of events, found herself helping to bring down one of the city’s most notorious con artists.
My Friend Anna was such a juicy story about Rachel and her friendship with Anna Delvey, and how she ended up getting scammed by her. I really wanted to enjoy this book, which was very entertaining at times, and I love a good gossip-y book, but at the same time, the narrator was so incredibly insufferable, I actually resented being in her head for such a long time. This read like such an indulgent, biased recounting with absolutely no introspection. Any “mistake” the author made is because she was “raised right” and is full of “trust and compassion” unlike of course Anna, who is pure evil. I guess this is because she must have gotten so much sh*t when the story blew up with people blaming her for getting scammed, and obviously that was not her fault at ALL, but this book tried way too hard to hammer this point into the reader’s head. And it was so, so indulgent. This was, seriously at least 30% only about Rachel’s work at Vanity Fair which I did NOT care for at all. Tell me only the relevant stuff! I don’t care who her boss was photographing or who was at that glamorous event, I really don’t. This could have been easily 100 pages shorter and that would have been a better read. I had initially given it 3 stars but every time I think about this book I can only remember how annoyed at the narrator I was, so I bumped it down to 2.
I would still recommend if you’re really into the story, I think it’s worth it for the juicy bits!