Top positive review
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COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN !!
on October 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.