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—picking up the tab for lavish dinners and workout sessions with a celebrity personal trainer. 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.
... paints a fascinating picture of an eccentric egomaniac who rails against all authority ... A large chunk of the book is taken up with the author fruitlessly begging Sorokin for her money back. Her stomach-churning anxiety as she struggles to stay afloat practically seeps off the page. The inclusion of the increasingly desperate text conversations between her and her deceiver increase the tension, too ... For those who have wolfed down every instalment of the saga, the trial is familiar territory ... Of course this is not Sorokin’s side of the story and therefore pressing questions cannot be answered ... Williams isn’t the easiest person to sympathise with. She confesses that the 'easy materialism' of Sorokin’s world was 'seductive' but you long for a bit more self-awareness ... Regardless of the book’s shortcomings and the jurors’ verdict, in the end Williams has done well out of falling under Sorokin’s spell.
This book is being marketed as 'the definitive account of the Anna Delvey story,' which perhaps it is ... But the publisher has also called it 'Sex and the City' meets ‘Catch Me if You Can' and if you believe that, I know a German heiress you should meet. As a narrator, Williams is earnest, sympathetic and all too conscientious ... You don’t envy Williams the ordeal — even if, dramatically speaking, the stakes never exceed her conflict over whether or not to accept a loan from one of several family friends. (She does).
... intimate and methodical ... The story grabs the reader’s attention in much the same way as a tabloid headline. Indeed, the concept of the book is dangerously close to being a longer, more detailed Wikipedia page. Thankfully, Williams adds some interesting texture through her authorial lens, illustrating Anna’s perfectly crafted authenticity from the viewpoint of the inner circle ... Delvey is a fascinating character, and watching the friendship between the two women develop is akin to watching a deceptively benign weed destroy a well-cultivated garden.