Amazon|The Book Depository
Published by Gallery Books on July 23, 2019
Sex and the City meets Catch Me if You Can in the astonishing true story of Anna Delvey, a young con artist posing as a German heiress in New York City—as told by the former Vanity Fair photo editor who got seduced by her friendship and then scammed out of more than $62,000.
I came across this story while traveling for work. Quickly scrolling thorough my news app looking for something to keep me entertained for the 30 minute train ride. The Vanity Fair article, written by Rachel Williams, had a catch title and an almost unbelievable story. Sadly, the original article is now behind a pay wall. This article by the Cut is another take (and not written by Williams).
My Friend Anna details William’s relationship with Anna, a woman charged with parading as a fake German heiress and defrauding a lot of people out of money, including the author. It took me a little over 24-hours to read this book. A quick read? Yes but not an addictive one. Having read the articles about Anna Sorokin, there was very little left to discover about the con-artist. One questions remains unanswered: how (and why) was Williams so easily duped?!
I took a few issues with this book. First, no new information is presented. Details about the events are expanded, though one could argue unnecessarily. The fluff details are provided to paint a more elaborate picture but if you are unfamiliar with the finer things in life, they serve more to illustrate just how privileged Williams is. Second, we learn nothing about Anna. Not her background, motivations, or why she targeted Williams. Maybe Ms. Sorokin will write a book herself, but it seems like a missed opportunity for William’s to explore (or speculate) about why Anna went after her. Third, William’s does little to make herself seem worthy of the reader’s sympathy. Is it terrible that she was scammed? Yes. That is about the only fact I may be able to agree with. She spent time trying to paint herself as this humble, down-to-earth person when in reality she is undeserving of the readers sympathy.
Overall this story was tiring, tacky, and redundant. If you have access to the original Vanity Fair article, read that over the book. Even the Cut article or Google “Anna Delvey”. You’ll find more of worth in the short-form text rather than a two-hundred plus page book.