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Playing Dead: A Memoir of Terror and Survival

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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 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 was when the stalking and genuine threats began. Nothing stopped him—not protection injunctions, police warnings, or even arrests. One fateful Monday morning, Chris kidnapped Monique in front of her children and drove off on a nightmarish car ride that involved car crashes and rape. He mercilessly beat her on the head with a shovel and abandoned her brutalized body in the woods in the rain. He left, presuming she was dead…but was she? "Monique Faison Ross shares with us her engaging, powerful, and ultimately shocking story of brutal intimate violence. Her survival, her strength, and her wisdom are an inspiration and a lesson to us all. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to hear what the targets of domestic violence are trying to tell us, told in a way that will keep you turning the pages."-- Lundy Bancroft, author of Why Does He Do That? and The Joyous Recovery "Playing Dead is a compelling book—a true page-turner. Smart, strong, and protective of her children, Monique was barraged with snide comments and criticism, yet had no idea that this was verbal abuse and never suspected its extreme escalation. Every chapter compels the reader forward to what's next."—Patricia Evans, author of The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Controlling People, and more. www.VerbalAbuse.com


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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 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 was when the stalking and genuine threats began. Nothing stopped him—not protection injunctions, police warnings, or even arrests. One fateful Monday morning, Chris kidnapped Monique in front of her children and drove off on a nightmarish car ride that involved car crashes and rape. He mercilessly beat her on the head with a shovel and abandoned her brutalized body in the woods in the rain. He left, presuming she was dead…but was she? "Monique Faison Ross shares with us her engaging, powerful, and ultimately shocking story of brutal intimate violence. Her survival, her strength, and her wisdom are an inspiration and a lesson to us all. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to hear what the targets of domestic violence are trying to tell us, told in a way that will keep you turning the pages."-- Lundy Bancroft, author of Why Does He Do That? and The Joyous Recovery "Playing Dead is a compelling book—a true page-turner. Smart, strong, and protective of her children, Monique was barraged with snide comments and criticism, yet had no idea that this was verbal abuse and never suspected its extreme escalation. Every chapter compels the reader forward to what's next."—Patricia Evans, author of The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Controlling People, and more. www.VerbalAbuse.com

30 review for Playing Dead: A Memoir of Terror and Survival

  1. 5 out of 5

    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 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 fight all the time because of it, and soon Monique fights back by bringing up his string of low paying jobs that contribute little to the family’s income problems and continue to keep them on the precipice of losing their apartment. This book follows their deteriorating marriage, as Monique debates leaving. But she’s now got three children and they are still broke. Chris has already threatened to take off with the children if he gets even a whiff of her planning to leave. He’s become unstable and violent at times, which frightens her. Chris is a ticking time bomb that no one is taking seriously enough. Until it’s too late. True crime lovers might want to check this one out. It’s super creepy how extreme this guy spirals out of control over his marriage ending. It’s enough to give you nightmares. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Monique Faison Ross with Gary Krebs, and the publisher. First published on my WordPress blog: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog20...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    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 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 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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    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 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 story should pacify the voices that ask, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” That’s a question that can easily isolate a victim even more. If it’s truly something people want to understand, stories like this one need to be read. I heard about this book last summer, pre-publication. Although my interest was immediately piqued, I was nervous about how it would make me feel. I put off ordering it and, upon buying a copy, I also postponed reading it for a while. In the end, it didn’t make me feel anything that was overwhelmingly unbearable and that was a welcomed relief. I have never been kidnapped, but I have been in an abusive marriage and I endured similar stalking tactics after leaving. I was incredibly fortunate in comparison to Monique. Reading this, I felt amazed at how similar her husband’s manipulative strategies were to those that I experienced. I felt outraged by some of the obstacles she faced within the justice system. While her situation occurred in the nineties, I don’t think significant improvements within the limitations of the law have been made. I felt proud of Monique’s strength of mind through it all. And I felt so much sadness over what she endured and the fear that it produced for her, her children, and other concerned loved ones. She had an incredibly powerful will to survive, fueled greatly by her love for her kids. Monique’s story is inspirational, as she had the courage to fight, continuously wrestle the demons her trauma created for her, and tell her story. It is her wisdom and endurance that allowed her to survive the ordeal, as she did just as the title suggests and it saved her. I admire her ability to share her harrowing tale from start to finish, as I know telling it is often a form of reliving it, and she clearly notes that it isn’t easy for her to communicate the details. This book is crucial in building empathy in those who wish to support women who are in, getting out of, or already distanced from their abusive relationship. It isn’t easy to read through all Monique endured but being more sensitive to the struggles around us often means we need to be a bit uncomfortable.

  4. 4 out of 5

    patrick Lorelli

    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 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 escalates to the point where she tries to leave, she gets the appropriate paperwork that you are legally required to get and yet she is still kidnapped by him, raped over and over, beat to the point where she pretended to be dead. Which actually saved her. She is a true survivor, a warrior in the true spirit of the word. No matter what she did legally he continued to come after her talk about premeditation. There is no I mean tolerance for a person like him yet there are many others walking around. This will be difficult to read once again though I think needs to be. Though scary and very much true I just wish women and children didn’t have to go through this and could be protected better. Though I think that this is a book that needs to be read, just be aware that it may take you some time to get through it. Remember that everything that happened is true and that a man who said he loved someone, married her became this monster. There are no words to describe how Monique is a true survivor and is so very lucky to be alive today, I just wish that there were ways to protect more women and families out there that this is happening to. A truly good book. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    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 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 participant you are blind to what's in front of you. Monique's experience is like so many and she is lucky to have survived this horrendous ordeal. Thank goodness for happy endings because this came way too close to being this family's worst nightmare.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Debjani Ghosh

    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 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 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 got a free digital copy from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Judi Easley

    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 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 tell all this in a rather monotone voice the way someone would when they’ve been through the story several times and they are rather worn down from it. As if in a shock-like state and they just want to tell it and put it all behind them. There seems to be no attempt to embellish what’s going on, the events are dramatic enough in their raw state. We hear this story so often. A marriage that’s not really quite right from the beginning. A husband who derides his wife at every opportunity until her self-worth is almost gone and she starts to wonder if she really is as useless and unattractive as he says. Children didn’t solve the problem, of course. They just created more targets and great hostages to her behavior. A puppy? Yeah, that makes a great target, too. The author takes us from some snide remarks to constant verbal abuse and plunges us into the physical violence of her relationship with her husband just the way it happened. Her primary goal through all of this was to protect her children. This book ticks off so many of my taboos that I’m really not sure why I requested the book. This is definitely not a book for someone with triggers of domestic violence, child abuse, or animal abuse. But I do highly recommend it as a survivor’s story for those who enjoy reading about the ones who made it through and out the other side. Thank you to Wild Blue Press for providing a copy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eadie Burke

    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 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 played dead and he finally left. Her survival, her strength, and her wisdom are an inspiration and a lesson to us all. The book was a real page-turner as the ending of each chapter gave me a need to read on and find out what was going to happen. I found Monique to be a very strong person who just wanted to protect her children. I would highly recommend this to those who are in an abusive relationship or those who love survival stories. I would like to thank NetGalley and Wild Blue Press for a copy of this book for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Rush

    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!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Justkeepreading85

    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 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 sweetheart soon after she discovered she was pregnant with his child. Her relationship with Chris had always been shaky, but his verbal abuse only increased—and then gave way to physical attacks. Eventually, Monique took their children and left. That was when the stalking and serious threats began.   Nothing stopped him—not protection injunctions, police warnings, or even arrests. One fateful Monday morning, Chris kidnapped Monique in front of her children. After a nightmarish car ride that involved car crashes and rape, Chris beat her on the head with a shovel and abandoned her brutalized body in the woods, presuming she was dead. But playing dead was what saved her life.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Patrice West

    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 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 from my situation unharmed physically, but also be aware enough to learn from my situation. Loved this book, highly recommend!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Zinie

    This book puts a lot of emphasis on a relationship. I felt a lot of anger at the victim it seemed like everything was about her. If you dint want to do what she wanted or dint think her way she was never happy. I wish it would of went more into the hearing and the aftermath. She promotes she is an Hall of Fame NFL players daughter yet had no relationship with her father at all so why is she promoting this.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Flora

    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.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leilanie

    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

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Frazee

    A must read! I really wish everyone would read this. It accurately reflects why so many survivors stay in abusive relationships for so long while also highlighting how perpetrators get away with stalking and abusive behaviors.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gayle

    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. 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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    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.

  18. 4 out of 5

    grace ☼

    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. 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. the writing was great and i thought the story was told at a good pace. i actually really enjoyed that the story spanned several decades instead of just talking about the incident itself, and it really helped me to better understand the circumstances and Monique's overall life situation, and i think it was completely necessary in order to understand the whole story. i also just want to thank Monique for sharing her story, as i know it could not have been easy. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    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 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 husband’s anger escalates from threats and verbal assault to horrible and extreme violence. This book was hard for me to put down. I felt empathy, terror, and understanding of the horrors she endured during each phase of this marriage. Only through her inner strength did the author survive and live to tell her story of recovery and healing.

  20. 4 out of 5

    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 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. When I got to the fateful day where their abusive relationship came to a head, I felt the details were so well written. I really felt like I could understand her pain and emotions. I am so sorry for the events that unfolded in Monique's and her children's lives, but I am so inspired by her willingness to share their story. I felt this was a great read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    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 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. When I got to the fateful day where their abusive relationship came to a head, I felt the details were so well written. I really felt like I could understand her pain and emotions. I am so sorry for the events that unfolded in Monique's and her children's lives, but I am so inspired by her willingness to share their story. I felt this was a great read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cara Hart

    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. 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.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jen Juenke

    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 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 explodes. Stalking, threatening, and ultimately trying to take her life. I hope that the author got the help to overcome this horrific crime. A great book and chilling read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lorie

    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 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 is a very strong minded lady, that's for sure. I identified a lot with her story. Not the same experience, but in the same ballpark.

  25. 5 out of 5

    JJBlue44

    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 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 starting this book, because you really won't want to put it down once those first few paragraphs draw you in.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    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 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 character and I am glad to find out what happened to the others.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kayo

    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. 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.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sharone

    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! 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!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    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.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    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. 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.

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