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When Stephanie Wood meets a former architect turned farmer she embarks on an exhilarating romance with him. He seems compassionate, loving, truthful. They talk about the future. She falls in love. She also becomes increasingly beset by anxiety at his frequent cancellations, no-shows and bizarre excuses. She starts to wonder, who is this man?
When she ends the relationship Stephanie reboots her journalism skills and embarks on a romantic investigation. She discovers a story of mind-boggling duplicity and manipulation. She learns that the man she thought she was in love with doesn’t exist. She also finds she is not alone; that the world is full of smart people who have suffered at the hands of liars, cheats, narcissists, fantasists and phonies, people enormously skilled in the art of 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.
About the Author
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 Good Weekend magazine and has won multiple journalism awards. An accomplished profile writer, she 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.