I listened to this on audio and the narration by the author made me feel like a friend was telling me her incredible story. Rachel DeLoache Williams, a twenty-something professional who worked in the photo department of Vanity Fair, meets Anna Delvey through mutual friends. They soon begin spending lots of time together—shopping, getting pampered, drinking, and going to expensive restaurants. Rachel finds Anna a bit flighty and disorganized, but also energetic and fun to be around. Anna clearly has money and she insists on paying for most of their escapades. When Anna suggests they take an extravagant trip to Morocco, Rachel decides to go for it, but while in Morocco, everything changes. When, Anna’s credit cards are declined, Rachel agrees to put more than sixty thousand dollars worth of charges on her personal and business credit cards. Anna promises to wire her the money when they return home. Back in New York, Anna becomes elusive. She constantly promises to wire the money and then makes excuses for why it hasn’t happened yet. As weeks stretch into months without reimbursement, Rachel is forced to question her friendship with Anna. Is Anna really an heiress from Germany? Do her parents really have money? Does she even have a family? Was anything they’d shared based in truth or is it all lies??? As Rachel slowly pieces together Anna’s true story, she struggles with the loss of their friendship and of her own innocence.
I first listened to the Dr. Death podcast which was somehow both terrifying and totally addicting. A friend then told me about another podcast, The Shrink Next Door which was produced by the same team and is equally riveting. In this one, we follow Marty Markowitz who seeks the care of a well known New York psychiatrist, Abe Herschkopf. The two men have an instant rapport which develops into a three decade relationship. As time passes, Marty becomes completely dependent on Abe, asking his advice for all aspects of his life, both personal and business related. Abe urges Marty to sever ties with his sister, with whom Marty had been extremely close. When Marty has no one left to rely on but Abe, the psychiatrist begins to take advantage of his patient, taking a position within his business, setting up a joint charitable trust which Abe uses to give money to his own pet charities, conning Marty into making Abe the benefactor of his will, and even moving in to Marty’s South Hampton home, putting his own name on the mailbox. Why didn’t Marty say no to any of these things? How could anyone be so gullible? Why didn’t someone put a stop to the manipulation earlier? The Shrink Next Door is a MUST LISTEN. It will have you thinking about the nature of relationships, the power of trust, and the importance of feeling connection with other human beings.