Thursday, May 3, 2012

Book Review: Web of Lies - My Life with a Narcissist

Title of Book:  Web of Lies - My Life with a Narcissist
Author:  Sarah Tate
Published:  Feb. 22, 201
Available: Smashwords, Amazon

There are times, when reading this book, that we must ask ourselves - How could these things have happened? How could an apparently intelligent woman allow herself to be continually deceived by the verbal manipulation of a man who clearly suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Perhaps there was no reason for suspicion during the courtship stage, when he showered her with attention, lavished her with gifts and impressed her with his intelligence. Perhaps she was blinded by her concern for her children when their apparent financial stability started to come apart at the seams. But there came a time when she still wanted to believe, even when all of the signs told her otherwise. And even then, she was unable to make the decision to leave him.

It would be too easy to judge, from the outside looking in. Why didn’t she listen to her friends, why didn’t she listen to her family. Why didn’t the fact that he was married twice before, and one of his wives had committed suicide, not to set off an alarm far earlier than it did? And why didn’t her concern for her children lead her to leave him rather than convince her to stay with him, until it was almost too late?

But most of us know someone who has been in a similar situation. That is why Sarah Tate’s book is so important. To tell an important story - a confession of sorts. An open, honest and often painful appraisal of her life and who she was during this time. Perhaps, when we know of friends who are lying to themselves in similar situations, we should simply give them this book to read, rather than offer advice that we know they will ignore. Let them read and recognize her words as words that they could have easily uttered themselves.

We live in a world where reality is very elusive. Virtual relationships rest on the power of words alone - words which create identities and worlds in common. It seems too easy to create something out of nothing, without the person on the other side knowing the difference. We claim that such things happen because we do not meet the other face to face, see the other in his/her “real” environment. Yet the “Web of Lies” shows us how this can happen in the so-called real world as well. Sarah was deceived into believing in a world through words alone. Words which created a dream world for her, and words which then explained why it no longer existed. Her being in close physical proximity with the man, only served to strengthen the deception, rather than the opposite. At least, for a very long time.

The “Web of Lies” is well-written and carries us along at a fast pace. It is told totally through the eyes of Sarah, and she warns us beforehand that some parts may be the result of a very subjective memory. And there are times, when her rolling narration take us into the depths of her despair, and she tries to rationalize it away while still wanting to believe in him - that we want to reach out and slap her - tell her to get out of it. And this shows how well she has captured us in her prose, leading us to understand the world she is experiencing through her own eyes.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah is my inspiration; my book is in process. If one person is saved through the pain we have to re-live through our writing, then it is worth every second !