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Playing Dead by Monique Faison Ross

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Genre: Memoir

Ratings: 4.5/5.0 Stars


Monique Faison Ross is the daughter of William Earl Faison who is a legendary football player. At an early age, she marries her teenage sweetheart Chris after getting to know that she is pregnant. At first, their relationship is like a dream come true, but when they start living together, their relationship becomes a lot more different than what Monique imagined it to be. Financial problems kick in and Chris’s attitude changes because of it. The problem is however solved when William suggests Chris to join the navy, which does help them a little, but doesnt make ends meet.

Chris’s attitude becomes a huge pain to Monique. He is always possessive and obsessive towards her and all she does seems wrong to Chris. When Monique files her divorce papers, and moves to another place with their children, Chris starts stalking and all of a sudden Monique’s life becomes a whole lot messier than it is.

One day, Chris kidnapps Monique in front of the children. They travel far from their place and when Chris finds an opportunity, he hits Monique repeatedly with a shovel.

What happens to Monique? Does she die or does she live?


“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 witnessing the events firsthand (or so it seems like to me). It pictures out only a portion of the whole story which some women experience: Abuse. Some even go the extent of enduring it! This story however ends with a horrible incident that Monique never could have imagined.

The character of Monique sets an intriguing example! “Playing Dead’s” impact upon the readers is huge and the incidents  illustrated in the book become a guide for a women to stand strong and be brave in unusually challenging circumstances. In addition to all of the above, the survival Of Monique that is illustrated is not only heartbreaking but also has an extremely profound impact on its readers.

Thoughts Lane

Though my mind compelled me to stop reading, my curiosity escalated more and more as I progressed; goosebumps were everywhere, my heart raced, tears falling, and my heart twinged! What bravery has Monique demonstrated to her readers! Its commendable. I adore how she handles everything and how wise she is even on the brink of her own death.

No woman ever deserves to be treated like how Monique is treated in the book. Even though today huge movements for women rights take place around the world, but harassment and mistreatment of women is still as rampant as before or maybe even more so. It is saddening & heartbreaking to know that there are still men that do appalling things to women and almost every country has laws to tackle issues of women abuse, rape and death. The question of their execution in certain countries is a different story altogether. It merely strengthens  the argument that the problems of the women are far from resolved. The world  has become an unsafe place for women, especially because of hungry, evil men that have nothing on their minds but their own selfish interests.

‘Playing Dead’ is more disturbing than any horror or thriller book I’ve come across so far! I guess knowing that a book is true to life stirs one more than any fictional book.

What I liked about the book:

-Powerful & engaging story.

Overall, this is a book one cannot afford to miss. It is a fantastic read if you are into a memoir with stories like Monique. Monique is a much needed inspiration for many of us out there.

Thank you so much to NetGalley for the free ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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