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Through the Glass [Hardcover]

Shannon Moroney
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 11 2011
An impassioned, harrowing and ultimately hopeful story of one woman's pursuit of justice, forgiveness and healing.

When Shannon Moroney married in October of 2005, she had no idea that her happy life as a newlywed was about to come crashing down around her. One month after her wedding, a police officer arrived at her door to tell her that her husband, Jason, had been arrested and charged in the brutal assault and kidnapping of two women. In the aftermath of these crimes, Shannon dealt with a heavy burden of grief, the stress and publicity of a major criminal investigation, and the painful stigma of guilt-by-association, all while attempting to understand what had made Jason turn to such violence.

In this intimate and gripping journey into prisons, courtrooms and the human heart, Shannon reveals the far-reaching impact of Jason's crimes, the agonizing choices faced by the loved ones of offenders and the implicit dangers of a correctional system and a society that prioritizes punishment over rehabilitation, and victimhood over recovery.

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Through the Glass + The Pear Tree: Is Torture Ever Justified?
Price For Both: CDN$ 35.80

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Product Description


Through the Glass is a compelling documentation of a flawed penal system, a nuanced look at the humanity of a violent criminal, and a snapshot of the cognitive dissonance required by romantic love. Most of all, it’s a meditation on forgiveness.”

“A remarkable story… of love and betrayal, of a horribly broken man’s hidden brutality and his ex-wife’s boundless capacity to forgive.”
National Post

“Gripping memoir . . . It is an engaging, compassionate story of a woman's quest for hope in the wake of trauma and violence.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“There are many readers who will benefit immensely from Moroney's level-headed but passionate look at the journey on which she was thrust after her husband's crime.”
Edmonton Journal

“Compelling, gripping, and eye-opening....  A heart-wrenching story — written with great clarity — of the grief, confusion, judgment and loss.”
Waterloo Chronicle

"If you are going to read one book this year, let it be this one. You will never again forget, or take lightly, ALL the innocent victims of crimes."  
The London Free Press
"This is a well-written, emotion-filled book with many unanswered questions for society to deal is a book that everyone should read."
The Peterborough Examiner
"Through the Glass could easily have been the story of how Moroney’s life fell apart — and indeed, it did. But this is no 'poor-me' tale. It’s equal parts a how-to manual for anyone touched by crime, an indictment of the criminal justice system, an endorsement of the practice of restorative justice, a thank-you note to the friends and family who supported Moroney and, ultimately, an answer to those who wanted her to explain."  
The Vancouver Sun
"A well crafted journey through the nightmare of Canada's courts that painfully illustrates how many victims of crimes are never truly accounted for in the trial process."
"With courage and compassion Shannon Moroney draws us into the hidden world of those navigating our justice system — victims, offenders, family and friends. Shannon's compelling story, Through the Glass, has something to offer us all — personally and professionally. Her story allow us to see the possibility of a justice system that draws on our instinct for compassion, over our instinct for retribution. Against the odds, Shannon navigates a journey of hope for all of us."
—Brenda Morrison, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, School of Criminology & Co-Director, Centre for Restorative Justice, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC
"I learned so much from this story, and marvel at the courage and grace with which it is told. This book should be required reading for Crown Attorneys, Victims' Service workers, and for all of us who spend our days navigating the labyrinth of our justice system." 
—Christine McCardell, Justice Circle Coordinator, Owen Sound YMCA
“Shannon Moroney tells her heart wrenching, personal story with such clarity and peace, bringing a new perspective on who can be affected in the aftermath of serious crime. More importantly, her restorative justice story is a remarkable one of moving forward with forgiveness and toward healing. Shannon uses her gift of storytelling to share her very special story that will leave you believing in the power of forgiveness.”
—Andrew Ager, Youth Justice Coordinator, Cochrane-Timiskaming, ON
“Your heart hurts for the author and for all victims of crime. In fact your definition of just who are the victims of crime changes as the book unfolds. Her story can become a self-help book for anyone who has experienced loss as well as opening our eyes to the possible changes that could be made to our penal system and to our society. Shannon Moroney speaks for the prisoners who are being warehoused without treatment, rehabilitation or services, and shows that just putting them in prison does not help or heal victims of the physical crime where restitution would.”
—Catherine McFarlane, Chapters Store Employee, Brampton, ON

About the Author

SHANNON MORONEY is a teacher, counselor and restorative justice advocate. She has spoken internationally on restorative justice and has extensively toured Canada and the U.S., addressing university and high school students, prison inmates, legal and mental health professionals and law-enforcers on the ripple effects of crime for all victims and for society at large. She is a volunteer with Leave Out Violence and is a contributor to The Forgiveness Project, an international charity that encourages and empowers people to explore the nature of forgiveness and alternatives to revenge.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN !! Oct. 19 2011
As a fellow inmate at PITTSBURGH INSTITUTION, a minimum security prison near KINGSTON, ONTARIO, I did Community Service with JASON STAPLES, the subject of this book ... and got to know him quite well. Shannon's book brilliantly captures his essence; a young man of exceptional talents, effortlessly charismatic, kind and polite to a fault .... and, as we know now, capable of horrendous violence.

Shannon's portrayal of her step by step walk "through the valley" is compelling in a rather counterintuitve way. She doesn't offer up a neat package of answers to her former husband's utterly inexplicable acts, except to say that, as a child, he was "hurt" and, as an adult, he "hurt back", an explanation that is moving in its simplicity. The focus of the book, instead, is on her complex journey from shock and devastation to acceptance, forgiveness and, eventually, a fulfilling new live.

An interesting theme that runs throughout is the reaction of her former employer and some former friends whose fear and anger seemed to be searching for a focus and inexplicably landed on her. This complex "blame the victim" thread adds to the depth and substance of this exceptional book.

Shannon could have chosen the easy way out; to "cut and run" the moment Jason's actions shattered her life. The fact that she chose to bring some meaning and understanding to her pain is a tribute to her substance as a person .... and a lesson to us all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a page-turner May 23 2013
By Lynne Frappier TOP 500 REVIEWER
This memoir was not only well written, it was written in such an honest way. Shannon Moroney was able to respectfully represent victims who were affected by her husband's crime - including herself and her family. She didn't shy away from what Jason did, she didn't excuse his behaviour, but she did highlight the impact from the offenders families point of view: she highlighted how difficult it was for her, since she too was a victim.

At the end of the day though, it was the story of a victim and we follow her as she struggles with getting through the event, and overcomes all the impacts it has had on her life. As someone who had to do something similar, I felt her frustration while she was depressed, her anger towards the act of violence, and her sadness at what has been taken away from her life.

Shannon also provided us with a very insightful look into our criminal justice system - and the alternatives that could be looked at to posisbly change the high percentage of re-offenders.

I highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't finish March 15 2013
I came across this book at the library, and was intrigued. I didn't even get halfway before I gave up. I couldn't get past her "me me me" attitude and and how self indulgent the whole thing is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way to go July 5 2012
The author, Shannon, went through an unbearable ordeal and was brave enough to relate her journey. Instead of diving into self-pity and deeper into depression, she fought back. By raising the awareness on the lack of support of victims' families and the flaws in the judicial system in this regard, she, along with the other advocate of this issue, has open up dialogue and maybe ONE more resources will be available.
I do not agree with the other readers that condemn her for writing a book for "profit". Why shouldn't she? We are not in her shoes and we don't know why she wrote the book, whether it is as a coping mechanism or for sharing her experience or any other reason. And if it is for profit, well good for her, she deserves it. Put yourself in her shoes for one day, I'm sure it's was not an easy journey for her, or any of the other victims for that matter.
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4.0 out of 5 stars For me, this was a very difficult book to ... Oct. 3 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For me, this was a very difficult book to read. I had no idea that someone's actions can impact so heavily on another's life - job status, friendships etc. The fact that help was not forthcoming from the places one might expect was hard to accept. Shannon Moroney was/is a strong person; I have grave concern for those who are not as strong as she is.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Please. March 1 2012
Staggeringly self-centred, opportunistic memoir from a woman who felt she had the right to repeatedly demand personal details about the identities and families of Staples' victims, while petitioning the court to ban her own name from publication. Get this from the library, if you must read it, and donate the saved cost of the book to a rape crisis centre.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I was impressed by Shannon Moroney's openness, her generosity of spirit and her tenacity. I liked her and can understand that this was a horrible chapter in her life, but I grew frustrated with her insistence that she MUST know the victims identity. She went to far as to cross off friends from her "Golden Circle" who would not tell her the victims identity, despite the fact that they were directly asked by the victims family NOT to tell her. Seriously? I know it sucked for her, but it sucked worse for the victims and their families.
I found the book slow, overwritten, and self indulgent. If you write your own story, it's bound to be self indulgent, but that's where a good editor should step in and clean it up a bit.
The book did raise lots of questions, and I was wishing I'd read it with a book club because it's the kind of book that will open alot of debate. However, if you just want the basics of the story, read her article in the Globe and Mail! Only 3 pages long - much better read.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars couldn't finish it
I agree with the other one star reviews; this author is terribly self-indulgent and has no respect for the real victims in this book.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten Victims
I couldn't put this book down. I devoured it. It was that good! I am glad the author was able to feel some vindication for the frankly rotten treatment she received from some... Read more
Published 7 months ago by "Why" Quest
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written
After hearing Shannon's interview on CBC radio I wanted to know "the rest of the story".
Even though you thought you knew the whole story by reading the back page, and... Read more
Published 16 months ago by et
4.0 out of 5 stars Food for Thought
This book has intrigued me ever since I heard about it. I volunteer to support and advocate for victims of crime and have often wondered, along with others in my field, who... Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2012 by Dana
5.0 out of 5 stars Important Understandings
This book reveals some very important understandings. It is time we come to terms with how we want to hold people accountable for their crimes and also have compassion and... Read more
Published on Dec 12 2011 by Janice B
5.0 out of 5 stars Restoring Justice
A friend, my husband and I found this well-written book completely engaging, not just as the account of a horrendous event in this woman's life, but of how she circumspectly went... Read more
Published on Dec 1 2011 by Jean
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Story of Resiliency and Forgiveness
I first heard Shannon Maroney's story when I heard her being interviewed in the CBC Radio show The Current. I had to order her book immediately. Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2011 by Ali P.
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