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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Playing Dead: A Memoir of Terror and Survival by Monique Faison Ross and Gary M. Krebs is a memoir that chronicles the author’s abusive relationship with her childhood sweetheart, an abuse that escalated from verbal and physical hurt to an attempt at murder. Monique married Chris after she discovered she was pregnant with his child. But it didn’t turn out to be a happily-ever-after experience for her as Chris started abusing her verbally and physically. And when she couldn’t take it any longer, she escaped with her children. Chris didn’t let her be. He started stalking her and no warnings from the police could stop him. Then one morning, he kidnapped her in front of their children and drove off with her on a dangerous ride involving a car crash and rape. He beat her on the head with a shovel and left her alone in the woods, believing her dead.
Playing Dead is poignant and compelling, arousing the anger of the reader and their sense of compassion for the victim. It is bold and told with unwavering honesty. It is easy to applaud the courage and intelligence of Monique Faison Ross, especially at the moment when she feigns death to escape the cruelty of her husband. She is wise and she makes decisions to protect herself, something that is rare in people who suffer from a cycle of abuse. The writing is beautiful and the chapters are well-crafted, each chapter ending with a curious note that pushes the reader to turn to the next page. Playing Dead: A Memoir of Terror and Survival is a gripping real-life story that gives readers chills and has them rooting for the author. A powerful indictment of domestic and spousal violence!