In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.
But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.
Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.
Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.
The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.
Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.
The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.
Praise for Through the Glass:
“A compellingdocumentation 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.”
“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
UK Title: The Stranger Inside
Doubleday Canada 2011
Simon & Schuster US 2012
Simon and Schuster UK 2013
Through the Glass
At age 30, Shannon Moroney felt blessed. In October 2005, she had married Jason whom she had known for three years. Their wedding was joyful, celebrated with loving family and friends. She enjoyed the esteem and respect of her colleagues at the high school where she was teacher and guidance counselor. Jason was working in a health food shop while studying graphic design and they were fixing up their house, anticipating children some day.
One month later, her world changed. When she was out of town, attending a teachers’ conference, police came to her hotel room to ask her to return. Her house was a crime scene and her husband was in custody after confessing to kidnapping and the violent rape of two women.
Grief, confusion and loss stalked her. Within weeks, she lost her beloved job, her income, her ability to trust and her future. She also had to grapple with Jason’s past. As a youth with a turbulent childhood, he had a violent episode which ended in the death of a woman and a 10 year-sentence for second degree murder. By the time they met, Jason was reestablishing his life, and was an example of the redemptive powers of the system. Shannon was assured by officials that Jason would not re-offend, and trusting them and Jason, she chose to become part of his second chance: the best second chance that anyone could ask for. Through it all she retained unwavering support from her close-knit family and golden circle of friends. When he re-offended, everyone’s trust was shattered.
In forging her own path to forgiveness –to let go of hope for a better past– she won a fellowship to complete a Masters degree in International Child Welfare in England at the University of East Anglia. She also became active the emerging field of restorative justice.
In this intimate and gripping account of her story, Shannon Moroney has crafted a masterpiece of hope and solace for the unseen victims of crime—the families and those who love people who have perpetrated heinous acts. To the rest of us, who murmur, “There but for the grace of God, go I,” she offers the gift of understanding.
Click here to visit Shannon’s website:
Read articles featuring Shannon:
Shannon on CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight:
Read the Chatelaine feature article: