As a 38 year old man I'm probably not the target demographic for this type of book. Nevertheless after reading the article in the Good Weekend I thought I would give it a go. And I'm glad I did. It's well written and insightful. The unfolding story of the crazy boyfriend almost had me reading it with my hands over my eyes at times. And the authors inquest into the relationship and it's after effects are honest and raw.
That being said I still can't fathom how someone (the author) could have fallen for a bloke who was clearly so dodgy. Being desperate for love should not be used as an excuse as to why you shut down all your critical faculties. And given the fact that she had a litany of failed relationships behind her with dubious characters: I just felt that she probably had just as many issues as these guys she was hooking up with. Like attracts like? Maybe I'm being unfair.
But whatever her shortcomings in her ability to pick even half decent men, she is a damn fine writer. This book is well worth a read and the author should be commended for it
Stephanie Wood has done the world a favour in revealing her betrayal at the hands of a narcissistic fabulist. A guy comes along, he talks about his property deals, his farm, modestly mentions his high-level business negotiations ... Warning bells go off in the back of her mind when he cancels dates with an alarming range of excuses (concussed child, psycho ex, sick kelpie, poisoned by sheep drench etc etc), but she finally tumbles to the fact that simultaneously, he’s having another affair and that pretty much everything he’s said is a lie.
As a senior features writer for a major newspaper she is smart and savvy and when she finally dumped him, asked herself how she had fallen for it. She is relieved and saddened to find that she is not alone in this: plenty of other intelligent, plugged-in people have fallen for con artists. They suffer a lot: things that are damaged include self-esteem, physical and mental health and of course, their bank balances. A good part of the book looks at the psychology of narcissists and their victims. Social media has increased the chance of being suckered but has also increased the chance of being found out.
Stephanie contacts “Kirstie” to warn her that an article will be coming out about “Joe”. Unwilling to believe the truth at first, Kirstie teams up with Stephanie in pursuit of more evidence of Joe’s lies. Stephanie is also contacted by Joe’s family, who recognise him behind the pseudonym. They’re trying to retrieve any money they can because Joe has dudded his mother out of her house. Things can get ugly when the perpetrator is unmasked. Stephanie receives some threatening messages and hears on the grapevine that he’s spreading poison about her. She finds a site where a former girlfriend of Joe’s is vilified, presumably by him. One of her saviours is water. She trains for a long ocean swim and gives us some solid advice on how to live life well. A good read. (A point to note: this kind of abusive narcissism is an equal opportunity endeavour. Perpetrators are just as likely to be women as men.)
A book of betrayal, soul-searching and resilience. Well written and researched. I've often wondered about fairytales/romantic movies and their prolonged effect on the female psyche. More recently I'm worried about the effect of reality TV on society, but that's another matter. Loved the book and its insight into relationships with narcissistic partners.
Wow. If my husband ever lives me I am staying single. So much in this book from her own story interlaced with others. A view of personality disorders and the domapibe hits of love. Loved it so much. Great writing
I was captivated by this book. Written with vivid candour and lush prose, it reads like a romance novel but the title portents the doom that awaits our heroine. A true story, shocking in its details but, scarily, one that many will find themselves relating to at the same time.