Sunday, February 7, 2010

Summary of the Book

'Web of Lies - My life with a Narcissist' by Sarah Tate. It's coming soon!

Here's the summary!

Web of Lies takes you on an emotional roller-coaster, experienced through the eyes of Sarah Tate, an intelligent, young newcomer to Switzerland who is swept off her feet by an older, more experienced company manager. Within weeks of their meeting, Bill impresses her with a courtship vastly unusual in modern times. He lures Sarah with his intellect along with numerous gifts, expensive restaurants, and trips to luxury hotels. Sarah, who is searching for not only love but security, quickly finds herself falling for the worldly but sensitive and caring man Bill represents himself to be. In Web of Lies, she describes the highs and the lows of what it is like to be involved with a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, how to come to terms with the abuse, and most importantly, how to escape.

Bill, who is seventeen years older than Sarah, has led what she finds at first to be a fascinating life. Married twice before, he has been recently widowed, after his second wife fell into depression and took her own life. Within months of their first meeting, Bill has proposes to Sarah, and they are planning a lavish wedding and exciting new life together. However, Sarah quickly starts to feel there may be more to Bill than meets the eye. Bill explains to Sarah, that his second marriage was one of convenience. Bill says his second wife, Sofia, was his accountant and very good friend, and they had married for tax reasons. Furthermore, he claims she ran his affairs while he was the manager of a successful business in Germany, and had committed suicide when she realised she was about to be found out for mismanaging his accounts and stealing money from his business to fund the purchase of a house for her mother. When a debt collection company comes knocking on the door, Bill explains it by blaming the debt on the late Sofia.

Shortly after the birth of her first child, Sarah is horrified when Bill’s employer threatens to take him to court for trying to sell insider secrets to one of their customers. Bill proclaims his innocence and fights the case, which eventually ends in stalemate, but at a high cost businesswise and socially. It ruins life in Switzerland for the family, and they have no alternative but to move to France where Bill can again find work and be near his parents. Sarah is incredibly unhappy in France with two small children by now to look after, and in-laws who seem to want nothing to do with her and the children. She falls into depression which is exacerbated by Bill’s lack of emotion, the deteriorating relationship with his parents and the fact that their financial situation is continually strained, due to Bill’s debt history and mismanagement of their finances. She despairs as he evicts his own parents from the home they had spent their life savings on so he can sell it to survive the financial crisis he has created.

Sarah battles to keep the marriage on track, but is frustrated by Bill’s lackadaisical attitude towards work, and his constant bragging about how he’s going to make millions via various entrepreneurial schemes which never materialize. After much deliberation, Sarah and Bill decide to move back to Switzerland with the hope it will revitalize their marriage. However, the move back to Switzerland proves to be the final nail in the coffin of their relationship after Bill teams up with an internet entrepreneur, and invests vast amounts of time and effort into building a series of web sites, which he never completes. He uses all their savings and lands them in financial hot water by failing to generate any income to sustain his ever growing family, which now includes a third child.

Sarah eventually begins to wake up to Bill’s lies and schemes, but not before she discovers he’s taken the last of their money, borrowed from her parents to feed their children, to fund a lavish trip to London in order to entertain his young girlfriend (his new narcissistic source of supply). Bill unashamedly declares his undying love for his latest flame, totally disregarding both Sarah and his young children.

As the marriage ends, Sarah battles serious clinical depression in order to cope with the destructive relationship with Bill. She finally asks him to leave, but his blatant refusal finally forces her to move herself and the children out of their home three months later. With the help of their lawyer, Sarah divorces Bill, and thus begins her slow recovery from almost a decade of narcissistic abuse. Part of her recovery included gathering the courage to contact Sofia’s brother in order to find out what had really gone on in Bill’s past, and she is shocked to hear the real truth about his life with Sofia. Not only had theirs not been a marriage of convenience, Bill had abused her in the same way he had abused Sarah - financially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually - leaving her utterly alone and in a desperate state.

Sarah realizes finally that she must break the pattern of abuse in order to escape with her sanity in tact. Mindful of protecting her children from him, she eventually stands up to Bill for the final time, and is left at the end to carve a new life. She is in debt and alone, but thankfully free from Bill’s negative and unhealthy influence.

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