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3.8 out of 5 stars17
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(5 star).Show all reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 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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on March 15, 2014
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 people like law enforcement, lawyers, judges and even victim rights workers! Ms. Moroney has turned the spotlight on a neglected and dark hole in our justice system; the one that friends and family of criminals can find themselves in with little or no support or understanding and often treated with scorn.

The author describes a process she went that she equates with grieving and I can tell you as I person who has gone through the kind of grieving a parent goes through, that what she experienced is most definitely grief. I saw myself in so many of the thoughts and feelings she wrote about.

The armchair psychologist in me was fascinated by it all too. A great read and excellently written!
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on April 24, 2015
Great book. Easy read despite difficult topic and feeling the writers heartbreak and loss. Would definitely recommend to anyone interested in seeing the family of the offenders side of the story or learning about the value of restorative justice.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2011
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. Hers is an amazing story of resiliency and forgiveness as well as a fascinating look at the Canadian Justice system and its many inadequacies. A call for restorative justice, Shannon Maroney's story is inspiring and unforgettable.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2011
Shannon Moroney is a brave, compassionate woman who tells an unthinkable, painful story with grace and sensitivity. I understand that the two victims of the terrible crimes committed by Jason are deeply impacted by the re-telling of this story (as they stated through their lawyers after the launch of the book and interviews on CBC Radio and TV). I feel deep compassion for their suffering. However, the indirect victims of this crime (Shannon her family, Jason's family and their friends and supporters) also suffered. It is a compelling story worth re-telling again and again because justice and the justice system can be cruel and ineffective. Shannon's advocacy for restorative justice was shaped by her experiences and I am thankful that she shared this story. The ripple effects of violence and sexual abuse and mental illness are pervasive. To move forward and change the system we must share our stories and talk openly about these things, knowing that we can't fully shield the impact of re-telling on the victims. This is what Shannon has done with honesty and eloquence.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2011
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 understanding for where they have come from. This book helps us see that a punitive system that does not help individuals recover sufficiently from their childhood trauma doesn't work for the society or the individual.

This is a compelling and timely story that raises many questions about our justice system. It is especially important as our government strains in the direction of more prisons and stiffer sentences without considering the root causes of crime.

The author's honest description of what happened to her keeps the reader engaged throughout the book.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2011
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 out on the limb of faith for another and stayed there when it snapped off and hit her in the face. The author, Shannon Moroney, found that the only way through this dark valley is love - a love that demands accountability - and the forgiveness that follows. Cut and run is not an option for such folk as these who do not abandon their loved ones, and who look to the future and decide they do not want to grow old in anger and bitterness, forever looking back on lost hopes and dreams.

This would be an excellent book to give to people we know who see justice as nothing more than establishing guilt and inflicting pain as punishment, people who look to revenge as a solution to the myth of closure and the reality of healing. It could help them to see the true meaning of justice as `making things right', restoring relationships and bringing healing to victims and perpetrators alike, their respective families and loved ones, as well as the wider community.

The author explores very well the tragedy that comes when shame and worthlessness cause people to fear being truthful about the pain of the past, rendering them unable to get the help they need. She explores forgiveness and how it worked in her, while holding her husband accountable for what he had done to so many people.

We learn in this book to encourage the humanity behind the perpetrator, as his victims did, saving his life, and possibly, their own.

I could say many things about what you will find in this treasure of a book, but it deserves to be bought, read, shared, and talked about fully.
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