Fake: A startling true story of love in a world of liars, cheats, narcissists, fantasists and phonies
In early 2017, Good Weekend magazine published Stephanie?s article The Great Pretender about her experience with a sinister romantic conman. She thought the story was over. But it was only just beginning. Hundreds of readers wrote to her, telling of similar experiences. A dozen o... read full description below.
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||2 July 2019 by Random House
||By Wood, Stephanie
||In stock at publisher; ships 6-12 working days
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Description of this Book
In early 2017, Good Weekend magazine published Stephanie?s article The Great Pretender about her experience with a sinister romantic conman. She thought the story was over. But it was only just beginning. Hundreds of readers wrote to her, telling of similar experiences. A dozen or more people recognised the man in the story and wanted to tell Stephanie what they knew about him. She formed a connection with 'the other woman? who also wanted to share her story. Fake is a powerful, richly layered investigative memoir, drawing on Stephanie?s personal story, stories of other women who have been in similar, emotionally abusive relationships; and expert voices. Fake is a story for our times but is timeless too, exploring universal themes - the intensely complex and neurotic story of raw human need. The backstory- In her mid 40s, Stephanie had been coming to grips with an unhappy reality familiar to millions of other women around the world- she would not now ever have the children she had hoped for and it was possible she might never find the soulmate that her mother and society?s embedded princess mythology had led her to believe would one day be hers. Then, through an online dating site, she met 'Scott?. An exhilarating romance began. He said he was a former architect who now had a sheep farm. He had a love for the environment and seemed a compassionate, truthful and decent man. He talked about their future together. But as the months wore on, his behaviour became increasingly erratic. Stephanie grappled with depression and anxiety as a result. Cancellation followed cancellation- he?d been poisoned by sheep drench; his dog had been bitten by a snake; his crazy ex-wife had failed to collect his son from the school disco; his business partners were demanding a meeting. There were red flags, but Stephanie was addicted to hope, immersed in dreams of the future she hoped to share with him. One day, Scott failed to turn up for an interstate flight to the wedding he was to attend with Stephanie. His phone rang out, she ended the relationship.When the depression and anxiety passed, Stephanie became a journalist again and Scott became a story she needed to investigate and understand before she could restart her life. Through another woman?s social media accounts, Stephanie discovered that Scott had been in a relationship with another woman (Kati) for two years before she met him and he had continued the relationship with Kati as he talked about a future with Stephanie. She discovered that he was an undischarged bankrupt with a criminal record and his claims of having money and property and the accoutrements of wealth were grandiose fantasies. Stephanie discovered a story of mind-boggling duplicity and manipulation and realised that the man with whom I had thought I would spend the rest of my life was both delusional and malicious, a masterful romantic conman with a personality disorder. And she discovered that she was not alone. The world is full of too many people who have been duped by similar dreams of romance and a cosy life.
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Stephanie Wood is an award-winning long-form features writer, known for her rare ability to tell substantial, compelling stories across a range of subjects. She is a former senior staff writer at Fairfax Media's Good Weekend magazine (released with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers each Saturday). Her Good Weekend story recounting the events on the night of Melbourne's thunderstorm asthma incident received the Jim Oram Award for Outstanding Feature Writing in the NRMA Kennedy Awards, while her article on the prescription opioid epidemic won the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Media Award. She has investigated corrupt Australians working in the NGO sector in Cambodia, and explored the radical changes hitting the inner-city Sydney suburb of Redfern. Her interest in telling stories about people who struggle on the edges of society has been reflected in articles about the life of a Kings Cross heroin addict; the travails of a troubled, mentally ill young man who was a victim of the NSW foster-care system; and the alarming increase in elderly abuse. Stephanie is an accomplished profile writer and has told the stories of some of Australia's most interesting characters- for stories, she has visited Richard Di Natale's Victorian farm; struggled to understand Australian-born genius mathematician Terry Tao in his Los Angeles lounge-room; shared a couch with Molly Meldrum; trailed former Premier Mike Baird; and lunched with radio celebrity Kyle Sandilands. She is a former editor of The Age Good Food Guide and an experienced food writer and restaurant reviewer, loves writing about the history of Australian cities and society, and her powerful personal essays on subjects including loneliness, childlessness and her brush with a romantic conman have drawn huge audiences and touched the lives of many readers.