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Publisher's Summary

A powerful, richly layered investigative story for our times, drawing on the personal stories of the author and other women who have been drawn into relationships based on duplicity and false hope.

Women the world over are brought up to hope, even expect, to find the man of their dreams, marry and live happily ever after. When Stephanie Wood meets a sweet man who owns a farm and property, she embarks on an exhilarating romance with him. He seems compassionate, truthful and loving. He talks about the future with her. She falls in love. She also becomes increasingly beset by anxiety at the lavish three-act plays he offers her in the form of excuses for frequent cancellations and no-shows. She begins to wonder, who is this man?

When she ends the relationship, Stephanie switches back on her journalistic nous and uncovers a story of mind-boggling duplicity and manipulation. She also finds she is not alone; that the world is full of smart, sassy women who have suffered at the hands of liars, cheats, narcissists, fantasists and phonies, men who are enormously skilled at deception.  

In this brilliantly acute and broad-ranging book, Wood, an award-winning writer and journalist, has written a riveting, important account of contemporary love and the resilience of those who have witnessed its darkest sides.

©2019 Stephanie Wood (P)2019 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What listeners say about Fake

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  • Em&Me
  • 28-04-20

Wanted to like but couldn’t.

Lately I’ve been in lockdown so I bought a load of Audible books at once, it is a measure of my interest in this book that it was the first of my recent purchases that I chose to listen to.

Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations at all. Generally I prefer not to say anything negative about narrators because they are just trying to earn a crust but the narration here was flat and didn’t adapt to the story being told.

It’s significant to note that the writer is a journalist. The book begins in a diary style retelling the writer’s own account at their hands of a fake. This was the best part of the book but would have benefitted from more detail about the reaction of the writer, her thoughts and feelings and the reactions of her families and friends to the things that were happening to her.

The middle part of the story recounts the experiences of others who have experienced the same type of situation. The style of writing changes from the factual style of her own experiences to a more expansive storytelling. These accounts are not well crafted, as a reporter the writer does not use her journalistic skills to investigate each story in any depth. Instead, she skips across each account without any real examination of the experiences of others.

Then the final hour of the book changes again to an overly long description of her life and swimming in the sea. True, there is redemption here but it’s not enough to redeem the book.

Unfortunately it’s a book that doesn’t deliver on it’s promise, at one point the writer mentions Nev Schulman, she would have written a better book if she had studied his method of reporting.