14 June 2013

Another Shannon Worth Knowing

You're going to want to know Shannon Moroney. You won't like her story. It's pretty ugly all the way around. But you're going to want to know her.

I found her book at the library, one of those "oh what looks interesting?" sorts of rambles. It was on the New Books shelf. Maybe I picked it up because her name is Shannon.**

But to Shannon Moroney. Here's a link to her website. The basic story is there: a month after her marriage in 2005, her husband brutally assaulted two women. The aftermath is devastating. Shannon chronicles how his arrest affected her at work, among their friends, in the court system. There's not much support for family members of offenders. Shannon's book includes a critique of the Canadian justice system and it isn't a far stretch from the American system. But what I really want to recommend is her consideration of restorative justice: what it is, how it can be applied, why it is needed to hold people accountable and make healing possible.

It is a very tough book to read. It is well worth the effort.

**I've met all sorts of interesting Shannons in the last year or so--including another Shannon O'Donnell who is a travel writer. Both of us tried to get the domain name ShannonODonnell.com--but it's owned by a teenager whose dad just isn't willing to let it go... and then there's the local weather person on a local channel who is Shannon O'Donnell as well. People at the parish once teased me about having a second job: prison on the one hand, weather-guessing on the other. I pointed out that the camera is supposed to add ten pounds--clearly that wasn't ME because the camera would have been subtracting like crazy!

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