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Playing Dead: A Memoir of Terror and Survival

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Monique, the daughter of San Diego Charger’s football great Earl Faison, married her high school sweetheart soon after she discovered she was pregnant with his child. Her relationship with Chris was shaky from the start, but turned tumultuous as he became verbally and physically abusive. When she could no longer put up with the abuse, she left him with their children. That ...more
Kindle Edition, 248 pages
Published July 30th 2019 by WildBlue Press (first published July 28th 2019)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  90 ratings  ·  34 reviews


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Valerity (Val)
Playing Dead is a book that speaks out for staying single, and never getting married. Monique and Chris don’t seem to have really done their homework before getting hitched. It’s like they suddenly woke up that way one morning and find they really don’t like it and need someone to blame. Chris is a perfectionist and loves to point out what his wife isn’t doing right, and that is just about everything and all the time to him. He enjoys doing it too, in a very nasty way when the mood strikes,

They
...more
Jaine
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review at https://yellowmajesty.com/playing-dea...

“Playing Dead” is a memoir from Monique of how she overcomes a terrible experience in her life. It shows her courage, strength, determination, and her love for her children. It is a very powerful, engaging and a compelling read.

When engrossed in the book, it is genuinely disturbing. It feels like witnessing a very intimate moment of someone’s life, the kind that one only sees in movies with a twist that in this one the readers are the one wi
...more
Cynthia
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Playing Dead is not simply the story of a woman being kidnapped, raped, and beaten by her husband, it is the tale of their relationship from its inception. Monique shares the beginning stages, allowing the reader to see how an abuser disguises himself with charm. She guides us through the slowly changing climate of her relationship, as common abusive tactics begin to surface. She demonstrates how easy it is to feel stuck and helpless and how leaving does not guarantee freedom or safety. Her stor ...more
patrick Lorelli
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
A true-crime story that can be heard and told many times but unfortunately is not told until the female has passed away, (killed). Here you have a true story of a woman going through a horrifying experience. The story can be difficult to read at times for many reasons. You find yourself drawn to this story once you begin because you want to find out what happens.
Monique marries her high school sweetheart who becomes a monster. It starts with verbal abuse then turns into physical. Everything esca
...more
Sandy
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Relationship nightmare
This book was riveting from beginning to end. As a high school teacher I would highly recommend this book be used with students in a life span, health, or family development class to warn them of the dangers of abusive relationships. As students are beginning to explore relationships in their life it is easy to mistake love and trust vs. power and control. They may be living this first hand or have a family experience they could relate to. Sometimes being an active particip
...more
Debjani Ghosh
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
My Blog

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 beginni
...more
Judi Easley
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who like survival stories ie. domestic violence
Recommended to Judi by: NetGalley
Playing Dead
A Memoir of Terror and Survival
Monique Faison Ross with Gary M. Krebs
Wild Blue Press, Sep 1, 2019
248 pages, Kindle
Memoir: Domestic Violence
NetGalley
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The cover on this book is understated, but I think it really ties to the author’s story very well since it was the weapon used against her. No sensational picture would have worked half as well as this simple fence and shovel.

The author tells her story as if she is reporting it to you. For some reason, in my head, I was hearing her t
...more
Eadie
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
This is truly a very scary story. It shows how verbal abuse can escalate very quickly into a near-deadly attack. Monique, the daughter of San Diego Charger's football player, Earl Faison, married her high school sweetheart and made the biggest mistake of her life. After three children, Monique decided to leave her husband but he stalked and threatened her. Protection injunctions, police warnings and arrests did not even stop him. He finally kidnapped her, beat and raped her unmercifully. She pla ...more
Melissa Rush
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing woman

This is an amazing story written by an amazing woman. A look at how domestic violence is dealt with in our country and how even when doing the “right” things, women are still violated and even killed. Monique is an amazing woman and writer, she is so brave in telling her story!
Justkeepreading85
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Playing Dead Review

This was a very well written memoir. What she went through, I can’t even imagine. She gives her life story is such detail that you really feel like you’re there. This woman is the epitome of a survivor. Even through multiple strikes on the head by a shovel she refused to die... her husband thought for sure she was dead, little did he know, she was just Playing Dead.

SYNOPSIS

Monique Faison, the daughter of San Diego Charger’s football great Earl Faison, married her high school
...more
Patrice West
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hit so close to Home

This courageous memoir makes me admire this woman so much! As someone who has been through similar, I know how scary and ashamed I felt just sharing my story with my own family so I applaud Monique for sharing this with the world. This book is much needed in a world so full of domestic violence in all shapes and forms. Knowing the signs and being able to leave a toxic relationship is sooooo important and I’m happy to have not only been blessed enough to be able to walk away f
...more
Flora
Nov 04, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Horrifying story of a merciless attack on the author by her estranged husband.and what led up to it.

The book might have been more compelling if it had been arranged differently. As it is, the first part dragged a bit for me.

Even so, it might be good reading for women who are in difficult marriages so they can watch out for signs of impending violence.
Leilanie
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A tale of survival

This one hurt to read. It’s full of traumatic and triggering events that even though I didn’t go through them, I felt them through her words. This amazing woman did her best through horrible circumstances and I highly suggest the read
Gayle
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure I wanted to read a real-life tale of domestic violence, but I am so glad I did. This book does a great job providing insight into why victims of domestic violence may stay in an abusive relationship and how challenging it is navigating child support, orders of restraint and the criminal justice system. It is amazing what this woman went through and I can only imagine how hard it was for her to retell this story in the hopes of helping others. ...more
Leah
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a brave telling of a woman whom escaped a terribly violent domestic situation and lived to tell her story. A horrific true story, this novel highlights how common domestic violence is and why victims often struggle to leave until it’s too late. Thankyou to the published and net gallery for the ARC.
grace ☼
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
i'm not gonna write a summary because i don't think that i can do any better or include any more information than is already present in the goodreads synopsis.

i don't normally read memoirs/biographies/nonfiction, but it's books like this that make me want to read more of them. this memoir was just incredible. it was hard to read as it was heavy and there were some serious topics (tw: rape, sexual abuse, stalking, physical abuse, emotional abuse, major trauma), but it was overall very inspiring.
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Jane
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a mighty and powerful book. The author shares her story as a woman who fought to keep her children and herself safe from the man she married. Throughout the testimony of her marriage, Monique had to be on the receiving end of increasing anger and rage from her controlling husband.

This chilling tale is only made worse because it is true. The author relates her attempts to get out of an abusive marriage and relationship, only to be taken hostage. Throughout the captivity, her estranged hus
...more
Cassandra Struble
This read was such an eye opener. I always find myself thinking, "Why would someone stay in an abusive situation?" I felt this really helped put some of that into prospective. The book was very well written. It was split up into chunks of time, each giving details of her life and story. I felt like enough details were given to get the needed background information to understand without dwelling too long on unnecessary details. The story line continued on so well, that I couldn't stop reading. Wh ...more
Cassandra Struble
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
This read was such an eye opener. I always find myself thinking, "Why would someone stay in an abusive situation?" I felt this really helped put some of that into prospective. The book was very well written. It was split up into chunks of time, each giving details of her life and story. I felt like enough details were given to get the needed background information to understand without dwelling too long on unnecessary details. The story line continued on so well, that I couldn't stop reading. Wh ...more
Cara Hart
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Important story. It left me wanting more! Monique's story epitomizes women's tendency to disregard the warning signs. Anyone suffering in an abusive relationship should read this, and get help! Quick read. Will have you glued. ...more
Jen Juenke
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a true crime story told by the victim. IT is at times, hard to read, hard to understand why she stayed, and ultimately the will to live.
The author admits that they were just kids when her and Chris got together. They did not have the maturity to be together, let alone have children together.
yet throughout the book, you can tell that the author tried EVERYTHING a person should. Moving away from family, trying to bring money in, counseling, etc.
Then when she decides to leave, Chris explode
...more
Lorie
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Riveting

first person account of an insidious progression of spousal abuse. Unusual in that it didn't appear to begin as physical abuse, but quickly amped up to stalking and near murder once she physically left her husband/abuser.
I was impressed with Monique's courage, determination and will to survive. This is not a criticism but more of a question; why is it that after some women deal with horrific relationships, they end up marrying women? Anyway, very well written and relayed to reader. She i
...more
JJBlue44
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a cautionary tale of a narcissistic sociopath of a husband and a strong willed wife/mother caught between a rock and a hard place - never truly believing that her husband would actually come unhinged and change the course of her life forever. This book was hard to read but also hard to put down. Told in a very real and raw way that makes you want to scream at this woman to GET OUT NOW BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE! I caution readers to make sure they've got some free time on their hands before st ...more
Christina
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a hard book to give a review on. It is such a tragic thing that has happened to Monique and her family but I am also very glad that she survived and is able to talk about it with other people.

I thought this book was very well written, especially since some of the details she could not remember. I did like how she explained the back story and did not just jump into what happened to her. I also like how she ended the book with the epilogue. Not many books go into detail about each characte
...more
Kayo
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's hard to believe that someone could hurt another like that. Author had to endure years of abuse along with her children,which I can't even imagine. Thank you for telling your story.
Unfortunately someone close to me is in this situation. Thank you for tools included in book.
Thanks to author,publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free,it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
...more
Sharone
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Set aside an entire afternoon for this book because you will not put it down once you start. And, don't read it at night because you may not want to close your eyes when you finish. You will be impressed and amazed at how the heroic author navigates a terrible-turned-deadly relationship for the sake of her children. A great first book: I cannot wait to read Monique's next one! ...more
Diane
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
What a compelling story! Monique lived her life with dignity and courage but sometimes that is not enough to keep you safe. Most people are innately predisposed to be optimistic and trust that others will do the right thing. This memoir will make you rethink this and is told in a way that carries you along the journey with the family. Highly recommended.
Diane
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I received this book free from NetGalley for an honest review.
I couldn't get into this book. I love a good memoir and have read many but I didn't find this author's voice and/or writing style to be as compelling or believable as others. I did not finish it so I don't feel comfortable writing a review.
...more
Diane
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
What a compelling story! Monique lived her life with dignity and courage but sometimes that is not enough to keep you safe. Most people are innately predisposed to be optimistic and trust that others will do the right thing. This memoir will make you rethink this and is told in a way that carries you along the journey with the family. Highly recommended.
Janet Mrozowski
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Monique's memoir is a riveting first hand story of survival through a horrific experience. Her total awareness of "is this really happening to me?" is a stark reminder that domestic violence starts innocently enough and hints of violence cannot and should not be dismissed. ...more
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It is not often that a victim of a violent crime lives to tell the tale. Monique became an "accidental author" when a group of friends convinced her that she needed to share the story of her near-fatal experience in which she was forced to "play dead."

Monique grew up in San Diego, California, the only child raised primarily by her Mom, Barbara, an industrial engineer. Her father, Earl Faison, was
...more

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