Through The Glass by Shannon MoroneyThrough The Glass by Shannon Moroney

Through The Glass

byShannon Moroney

Hardcover | October 11, 2011

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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.
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 vi...
Title:Through The GlassFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:368 pages, 9.27 × 6.26 × 1.16 inShipping dimensions:9.27 × 6.26 × 1.16 inPublished:October 11, 2011Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385676034

ISBN - 13:9780385676038


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking and Inspirational I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy of this book and was humbled by Shannon's capacity for forgiveness. Her life was torn upside down by the actions of her new husband yet she somehow continued to keep her head held high and create a new and inspiring life for herself. She credits her "Golden Circle" for helping her through this tragic, shattering situation and it is obvious that her family and friends in this group lifted her up..just as she lifted her husband Jason up in so many ways. This book is an eye-opening look at the Canadian legal and penal systems but it is also a book about love, childhood abuse, mental illness and above all forgiveness. It also demonstrates how moving to a system of restorative justice would help not only individuals but society as a whole. Thank you to Shannon Moroney for sharing her heartbreaking but ultimately inspirational story.
Date published: 2011-10-17

Read from the Book

I was happily writing a thank-you card for a wedding gift when I heard the knock at my hotel room door. It was November 8, 2005, I was thirty years old, and my life was about to change forever. I was away from home, attending a school guidance counsellors’ conference. When I opened the door I expected to see my colleagues at the threshold, inviting me to breakfast. But instead, I saw what no one wants to see: the silhouette of a police uniform filling the frame. A colleague was standing behind him. My heart instantly filled with dread. Whatever news the officer was delivering, it was going to be bad. “Are you Shannon Moroney?” he asked. I nodded, fear blocking my throat. I was in Toronto, 150 kilometres away from my home in Peterborough. I thought of my dad and my brother first. As salesmen who worked in and around Toronto, they both drove a lot, and I pictured a car accident. Had one of them been hurt? Were they going to be okay? Seeming to read my mind, the officer said, “I’m not here because someone has died or been in an accident. I’m here about your husband. Are you Jason Staples’ wife?” His question flustered me at first. Today was my one-month wedding anniversary and I wasn’t used to my title of “wife” yet. During the last few weeks, Jason had been meeting me at the front door when I got home from work, saying, “Hello, my wife.” Batting my eyelashes theatrically and pretending to blush, I would reply, “Hello, my husband.” Then we would giggle and hug, and I’d step inside. I nodded again to the police officer, still unable to speak. Yes, I am Jason Staples’ wife. He was holding a newspaper. Confused, I glanced down at it and tried to read the headlines, but it was upside down so I couldn’t make out anything. I glanced back up at the officer. My colleague looked at me from over the officer’s shoulder, his face full of concern. “Do you want me to stay, Shannon?” he asked gently. I shook my head. He was kind, but I didn’t know him well. I didn’t want to involve him in whatever I was about to find out. The officer stepped into my hotel room. The door closed behind him. He stood in front of me, still holding out the newspaper. I reached for it, again trying to scan the headlines. “Oh,” he said. “There’s nothing in this paper. I just picked it up from in front of your door.” He put the newspaper on a nearby table. “I’m here about your husband, Jason. He was arrested last night, charged with sexual assault.” I felt my body go numb. My mind began to race with questions: What does he mean? There must be some mistake! My mind clouded with confusion. The officer continued. “I understand that your husband called the police himself.” So there was no mistake. “What happened? Who did he . . . assault?” I asked. The officer was from Toronto, not Peterborough, so he didn’t know the details. He handed me a slip of paper with the phone number of the police station and said I should call right away and ask for Sergeant DiClemente. Then, quietly, he said, “I think you better expect that it was ‘full rape.’” My stomach flipped. I felt like I was going to be sick. How was this possible? Desperation now pushed into my chest making it hard to breathe. I had to stay calm. This can’t be happening. I turned away from the officer, walked over to the desk by the window and put my hand on the phone’s receiver, terrified at the thought of what I would hear when I dialed that number. Less than two hours earlier, I had been lying in bed with day just breaking outside the hotel window. I was so happy—a newlywed filled with satisfaction and eager anticipation. I closed my eyes and an image of a shiny silver bowl came to my mind, filled with all the people and experiences of my recent past—my thirtieth birthday, our beautiful wedding on Thanksgiving weekend, and then a brief honeymoon at a cottage where Jason and I had lain in a hammock and daydreamed of our future and children. Everything had come together. Under the blankets, I reached my hands down and rested them on my belly. I imagined cells splitting and multiplying inside me. The night before, in our “talk at ten” ritual that we followed when one of us was away, I had told Jason I thought I might be pregnant. “That would be great,” he said. “We’ll take a test when you get home.” I promised him that though I was tempted to take the test immediately, I’d wait until I was back so we could share the moment. The night before, I’d also spoken with my friend Rachael who lived in Colorado. We’d been close for years, ever since we lived in Ecuador as development workers in our early twenties. “I think this is it,” I had said to her. “I think I’m pregnant!” Lying in bed at daybreak, I focused on what it would mean to become a mother. When I was small, my mum explained to my siblings and me how we’d started off as “one speck,” then become “two specks, then four, then eight” and so on, until her mental multiplication skills ran out. Delighted, we could always ask her how many specks we were at any given moment in our development: “Mummy, just before I was born, how many specks was I?” She would pause, ponder for a moment, and then say something like, “Let me see . . . I guess you were eight-hundred and ninety seven thousand, four-hundred and thirty-two specks.” We loved it. I loved it. I loved that she knew me when I was just one speck of life, and that she had loved me even then. Now, as a grown woman, picturing those beautiful little specks inside of me, I was already loving them with all of my heart. I wanted to be the same kind of mother as my own: caring, dedicated, strong. At seven o’clock, I got out of bed, took a shower and dressed for the final day of the conference. Then I packed my bags so that I could check out of the hotel at lunch, put everything in the car, and leave immediately after the last workshop. I was eager to get home. Jason would be there, and we had planned a simple, celebratory dinner to mark our first month as husband and wife. At 8:00 a.m., I still had half an hour to spare before breakfast. I pulled out a package of cards and got to work writing thank-you notes for wedding gifts I’d received from colleagues at the conference. The phone rang. It was a co-worker from the board of directors, calling from the lobby. “Shannon,” he said. “There is someone who wants to see you. Can you wait in your room? I’m going to bring this person up.” “Of course,” I replied, puzzled. Maybe it was a guidance counsellor from my old high school who wanted to say a surprise hello. But why wouldn’t the person want me to come down? I had only a minute to wonder before I heard the fateful knock at my door.My heart was pounding. In my hand I held the number of the sergeant in Peterborough. The officer remained in my hotel room, still standing by the door and looking at me solemnly. I dialed the number and waited. “DiClemente speaking.” The voice was loud and authoritative. “Sergeant DiClemente, this is Shannon Moroney. I’m Jason Staples’ wife.”

Editorial Reviews

“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.” —Maclean’s“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