Through the Glass by Shannon Moroney
By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis
Author: Shannon Moroney
Format: Hardcover, 370 pages
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Pub Date: October 2, 2012
Through the Glass by Shannon Moroney is a revealing memoir about Moroney’s therapeutic process and how she copes with the after-effects of her discovery that the man she loved and married had unexpectedly recommitted horrific and violent crimes in the form of kidnapping and the raping of two women.
The narrative is written in first person by the author who divulges in detail the careful history in which she thoughtfully considered her relationship with Jason Staples after learning he was previously in prison for ten years and on parole with a life sentence for second-degree murder when he was eighteen-years-old.
She depicts her husband the only way she can, through a compassionate lens of her personal perspective and asserts his positive qualities: “…kind and gentle—still boyish in his looks.” (p. 23); “His easy-going nature and artistic talents…” (p.25); “…his articulate and well-educated manner of speaking,” (p.19) throughout the book as opposed to a one-dimensional view of a criminal.
While Moroney’s internal dialogue is filled with a detailed stream of consciousness and rhetorical questions that reveal her to sometimes succumb to over-analysis and personal sensitivity especially when responding to others scrutiny, judgement, and stigma at the knowledge of her husband’s crimes, it seems the influence comes largely from her experience as a guidance counsellor.
In an effort to throughly depict her experience and those closest to Jason Staples (his family, his friends), she reveals the hardship that loved ones of the law offender must face as a result of emotional isolation, societal stigma, and lack of correctional and institutional help by law.
This gap is readily highlighted in Moroney’s struggle to move forward in her experience as a well as help speed up the judicial process and justice advocacy on behalf of her husband—and surprisingly her support and concern for his victims.
If the book is successful in anything, it is foremost in providing Moroney with a personal healing tool of confrontation and reflection of her, as she assigns, “victimization,” and the gap of support and provision for the families and loved ones of offenders.
It also highlights the varying responses and stereotypical assumptions associated with crime and the personality of the criminal. Shannon Moroney, in writing this memoir, has helped to depict the improvement needed in the laws and sociology dealing with the judicial system, its thought processes, its prisons, and dealings with incarceration.
The book also does an important, eye-opening justice: it helps to depict a three-dimensional person with needs of psychological and social healing behind the crime.
Shannon Moroney is a social justice advocate, teacher and counsellor. She has spoken international on restorative justice and has extensively toured Canada and the U.S., addressing university and high school students, law enforcers, prison inmates, and legal and mental health professionals on the ripple effects of crime for victims and for society at large. (From back cover.)
Thank you to Doubleday Canada and Random House of Canada for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an unpaid and honest review.
How do you think you would respond if you discovered someone you are close to committed a horrific and violent crime?