Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Woman Who Wasn't There ~ Review

The astounding story of Tania Head, whose heartrending account of surviving the World Trade Center attacks made her a celebrity—until it all turned out to be an elaborate hoax.

It was a tale of loss and recovery, of courage and sorrow, of horror and inspiration. Tania Head’s astonishing account of her experience on September 11, 2001—from crawling through the carnage and chaos to escaping the seventy-eighth-floor sky lobby of the burning south tower to losing her fiancé in the collapsed north tower—transformed her into one of the great victims and heroes of that tragic day.
Tania selflessly took on the responsibility of giving a voice and a direction to the burgeoning World Trade Center Survivors’ Network, helping save the “Survivor Stairway” and leading tours at Ground Zero, including taking then-governor Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg, and former mayor Giuliani on the inaugural tour of the WTC site. She even used her own assets to fund charitable events to help survivors heal. But there was something very wrong with Tania’s story—a terrible secret that would break the hearts and challenge the faith of all those she claimed to champion.
Told with the unique insider perspective and authority of Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr., a filmmaker shooting a documentary on the efforts of the Survivors’ Network, and previously one of Tania’s closest friends, The Woman Who Wasn’t There is the story of one of the most audacious and bewildering quests for acclaim in recent memory—one that poses fascinating questions about the essence of morality and the human need for connection at any cost.

Robin Gaby Fisher is the author of New York Times bestseller After the Fire. She is a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing and a member of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team. She teaches narrative journalism at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr., has made two award-winning films, Idling Brando and The Heart of Steel, and has written screenplays both optioned and in development. The Woman Who Wasn't There documentary is in post-production and is produced by Meredith Viera Productions and Academy Award-winner Ross Kauffman.

My Review:

Not since the true Story of Frank Abagnale Jr. and the way he conned millions of dollars as well as countless people around him, have I been this astounded by such a story.

September 11th will forever be in our minds. The Shock. The Horror. The utter Disbelief. The Heartbreak.

In the days after, America came together in so many powerful ways. People reaching out to one another, helping in whatever ways needed. Introduce Tania Head. She claimed to have been in the South Tower, narrowly escaping as she crawled to safety. She shared that not only had she survived this horrible tragedy, but she lost the love of her life and fiancé' Dave. He was in the North Tower and it took months to receive confirmation of his death. Tania became very active in the World Trade Center Survivors' Network, and became the Network President in 2006. She helped financially, she was able to do things that no one else could, and to meet with those that no one else could. From the outside looking in, Tania was, for all practical purposes, a godsend.

There was only one problem - and that was Tania's story.

The Woman Who Wasn't There could be described using the exact words I shared above - Shocking. Horrifying. Unbelievable. and Heartbreaking, to say the least.

To believe one person could deceive so many, who were already at such a vulnerable state. Losing someone is hard enough but sharing the grief with someone who might have been with your loved one, or who gives a voice to their tragedy,
can bring healing or in the very least, help to begin that process.

Tania Head's deceit will leave you speechless, and yet, looking at all she was able to do for so many affected by this horrible tragedy, will leave you in awe.

I recommend reading this story, especially if you are one who is fascinated with those who are like Tania. Those who create their own scenario, their own world, their own web of lies, yet,to them, it is nothing but the truth. Or is it?

Thank you to Ashley Hewlett with Touchstone Books and Simon & Schuster for allowing me complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.


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