I typically read a lot of fictional novels, mostly because I know that if the premise involves an uncomfortable plot line, I remain jaded because I know that it was made up by an author. However, there has been a ton of buzz surrounding this true crime biography written by Shannon Moroney, titled, “Through the Glass” so I thought I’d step out of my comfort zone to try something a little different.
Shannon Moroney was a guidance counselor working at a high school, who spent her free time volunteering and helping out around her community of Kingston, Ontario. It was while volunteering at a community program that provides hot meals in a luxurious environment to those in need, that Shannon met Jason Street. He was tall, dark and handsome and she was attracted to him instantly. The feelings were mutual and they set up a date to get to know one another better.
It was early on in their dating, that Jason revealed to Shannon that when he was 18 years of age, he committed a senseless crime that resulted in a young girl’s life. He paid the price for his crime, landing himself in jail for ten years. At age 28, upon release, Jason re-entered life as a newfound man, wanting to give back and right his wrongs in any way possible. Shannon, who appeared to be a very open book kind of gal, explains how she admired Jason’s openness and willingness to share that part of his life so freely. After many conversations with his parole officer and his psychologist, she decided that love really does conquer all and decided to take the plunge. Surprisingly, her family and friends, were very supportive of her decision and exclaimed that her happiness brought them happiness.
The two decided to get married in 2005, they owned a lovely home in the ‘burbs with a little yellow door. Everything was coming up roses, but a month into their marriage everything came to a screeching halt. While away at a conference in Toronto, Shannon got a knock at her hotel door. There stood a police officer that informed her that her husband had been arrested for a sexual assault against two women. The crime had taken place where Jason worked and then continued in their home. Shocked and appalled, she calls her parents in tears. Of course they automatically break down as well at the level of violence their beloved “son-in-love” committed. I don’t feel comfortable going into the details and luckily Shannon doesn’t disclose too many details of the horrific events. This story isn’t a story of the events that took place that evening, but more a story of forgiveness and a life rebuilt.
As Shannon shares in her book, her to do list went from putting away wedding gifts to find Jason a lawyer. This change of events required Shannon to have to figure out (early on) how she would face Jason, would she come at him with anger, love, forgiveness? The stages of grief seem to be covered in every aspect as soon as everything shatters (a word used often in this biography), shock, denial, pain, guilt, anger, depression and reconstruction. To me, it was obvious the route Shannon would take, simply because she accepted Jason’s ill-doing’s from the past. Of course, forgiveness and understanding takes time and throughout each page of this book, you go on a journey of healing with Shannon.
I believe this biography was written for therapeutic reasons, but also because Shannon Moroney took an experience that literally shook her world and turned it into a way to speak out about her experience and the impact crimes and violence can have on family and friends. Obviously, it wasn’t a story I’d normally pick up, but it taught me a lot about strength and perseverance. The thing that makes this horrific crime interesting is that Shannon was able to maintain her sense of self, she was strong, determined and somehow managed to keep her head up high during this entire experience.
This biography is dark, artistic, but weaves in a sense of newfound self discovery. I’d definitely recommend it to people who like true crime novels or people looking to branch into a different genre that will cause you to make your noodle to some serious thought processing.