Face to Face
Audrey Kishline and Sheryl Maloy
Meredith Books (2007)
I picked this up on one of my Dollar Tree book runs. I was caught by the cover and the tagline:
“A deadly drunk driver,a grieving young mother,and their astonishing true story of tragedy and forgiveness”.
So I bought this book,went home,fixed some coffee and was blown away on so many levels.
On 25 March 2000,Audrey Kishline,who had achieved national fame as the founder of Moderation Management,a group which taught drinking is ok IF you do it with moderation and control,got behind the wheel of her truck and while driving the wrong way on a cold wintery I-90 in Washington,hit and murdered two people.
The people killed were Sheryl Maloy’s 12 year old daughter,LaShell and her ex-husband,Danny.
This book chronicles the impact both before,during and after this terrible act of violence and the aftermath.
Both women take turns in writing chapters,sharing how they grew up and what led them to that fateful night.
Audrey’s story is the most compelling..she up grew up a promising ballet dancer. But when she gave it up and moved to live with her father.
Audrey writes that when she started working for her dad,thats when her drinking started in ernest. It continued after she met and married her husband Brian and increased as time went despite the public image she had as founder of MM.
Sheryl’s story of growing to adulthood is also a difficult one. Despite marrying a good military man,events and a hateful family conspired to keep Sheryl was complete happiness. Danny and Sheryl embraced a Christian lifestyle but mistrust and deceit by Sheryl’s family helped end her marriage.
Both women continued to go different directions,Audrey went deeper into the botttle while Sheryl worked hard towards giving Danny and her another chance. It was a little rocky but at the time of the murders,the future looked bright for Sheryl. Her faith and grace were going to be put to the ultimate test.
Audrey writes about her life after the murders. Due to Washngton laws at the time,she only spent 4 and a half years in prison total for BOTH Danny and LaShell. She writes on what prison was like for her and her family.
When Sheryl decided she needed to see Audrey to forgive her,it felt right. Despite being warned not to do it,her faith in God helps her reach a peace that is so rarely,ever seen. The bittersweet meeting in jail does wonders for both women on different levels.
The end of the book recounts how Audrey and Sheryl have become good friends and how Sheryl’s forgiveness has helped her heal. Audrey is not so lucky as she even today struggles with her inability to stop drinking.
I guess as a reader and a victim of a crime like Sheryl was,its the both the forgiveness and the sad fact that that Kishline mocks Danny and LaShell’s deaths by still drinking to really strikes a chord. Why would anyone w/not only a 2nd chance but also forgiveness by her victim,continue to do the same things that led to those deaths.
There are no easy answers..