Rating – 4/5
Monique, the daughter of San Diego Charger’s football great Earl Faison, never imagined marrying her high school boyfriend would turn out to be the most horrible mistake of her life. She also hadn’t imagined she would survive this mistake to narrate her tale.
Playing Dead: A Memoir of Terror and Survival by Monique Faison Ross recounts the author’s experience of a nightmarish marriage that culminated in a brutally violent incident. Her relationship with Chris was unstable from the beginning, but it gradually turned abusive and denigrating.
Snide remarks and constant criticism became a part of the author’s life, which she couldn’t recognize as verbal abuse owing to a lack of awareness. Due to the absence of her father in her life, she didn’t want to subject her children to a similar situation. Hence, she persisted and remained in an abusive marriage.
However, unable to bear any more, she left him with their children. That’s when she saw Chris’s real face. His behavior turned downright abominable. Nothing restrained him – not even police arrests. One fateful morning, he kidnapped Monique and drove off to a predetermined location where he raped her. Then he mercilessly beat her on the head with a shovel until he believed she was dead and left her in the woods in the rain. This memoir is the testimony of what she endured.
Monique has crafted an engaging memoir that reads like a thriller. Consequently, I devoured the book in two days. It’s a true page-turner; I was consumed by the author’s writing style.
Playing Dead is an account of what victims of domestic violence go through, but above all, it’s a survivor’s story. It recounts how the author overcame these terrible situations to become a strong woman for the sake of her children whom she loves with all her heart. It’s a compelling memoir, and once you start reading, you won’t be able to put it down till you reach the last page.
As captivating this memoir is, it is also genuinely disturbing. I was upset for days after reading this memoir because I simply couldn’t believe human beings are capable of such evil. People with triggers of domestic violence, sexual abuse, violence against children and pets should tread caution before picking up this book. It’s a treasure for fans of true crime.
However, I will recommend this memoir to everyone. It’s an excellent eye-opener to what is abusive behavior and more importantly, not to withstand such behavior no matter what.
I received a digital copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review. I opted to publish this review on my blog. It doesn’t affect my views on this book. Link to original review.