7 January 2020

2020 Reading Challenge - My Friend Anna by Rachel DeLoache Williams

I've decided I don't like resolutions for a new year, I much prefer the term goals. Might just be me being super picky, but I always associate resolutions with promises you make to yourself that (9/10) never actually happen. Whereas goals you can set up as targets, with deadlines and actions. They're trackable. And one of my goals for 2020 was to read 10 new books...

For those who know me, 10 new books really doesn't sound like a lot. I read nearly as many on last years holiday to France. However - I'm super lazy with my reading. I always go back and reread books I know I love, go for the authors I trust and stay in my little comfort circle. So this year I wanted to break that habit. I reached out via Instagram for recommendation, and I got my first book for the year.

My Friend Anna by Rachel DeLoache Williams is a true story of how Rachel gets conned by the now infamous fake heiress of New York. It's told from Rachel's perspective and goes back to detail how they became friends, when she was conned, and the aftermath of debt, stress and clarity. 

To begin with I did find it a little hard to get into - however, that's more to do with the fact I'm used to reading fiction and that style, rather than a true story coming from the writers perspective. I don't believe it had anything to do with the quality of writing or the story - just what I was used to. Once I got into it I did find it incredibly hard to put down, and read part 3 in one sitting. 

The first part I found quite hard to get into - it was a little disjointed as you hear about the situation of the conn first, and then go back to explore how the friendship grew. The friendship building section I found the most disjointed - a little like when you fast forward a show or film to get to the good bits, but you know you've probably missed a few things along the way. You get the general idea and picture of what their friendship was and how it functioned, but that was the area I found a bit hard to get into. 

However, the second and third half really pull you into the story and into Rachels pain - and made you want to pull her out of it all and give her a really big hug. I'm not an anxious person, but I was messaging the friend who recommended it to me telling her it was giving me anxiety for Rachel - for her situation. And because you know it's a true story, you really have no idea if she's going to come out of it with her money back or not. Don't worry - I won't spoil it for you. 

It's incredibly thought provoking - it did make you wonder what would you do in her situation, if someone you thought was a friend was in trouble and needed help. You wonder how she went on for so long still trying to resolve the situation - and at the same time you want to scream at her to stop trying to be nice about it and get some help. 

It's an incredible story, one I would highly recommend picking up. It was completely out of my usual style and comfort zone, and one I definitely wouldn't have picked up before, but I'm really glad I did. This book is a really great example of why I'm doing this reading challenge - to get out of my reading rutt and discover great books out there. 

If you're on GoodReads please go and give me a follow here! And put any book recommendations you have below. I can't wait to start the next one...


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