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Let It Go: A True Story of Tragedy and Forgiveness
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Let It Go: A True Story of Tragedy and Forgiveness

4.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,357 Ratings  ·  401 Reviews
On a cold February night in 2007, a devoted father of four and a seventeen-year-old drunk driver both received life sentences. In one violent, devastating instant, both faced a drastically different - and uncertain - future. But as Chris Williams sat in his demolished vehicle, staring at the car that had just caused the death of his wife, his unborn baby, his eleven-year-o ...more
Hardcover, 151 pages
Published August 2012 by Shadow Mountain (first published January 1st 2012)
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Dec 20, 2012 Linda added it
I couldn't feel justified in rating this book. In very personal grief memoirs such as this one, it is the author's opportunity and privilege to share his meaning making without being rated. It is the readers' privilege to sift through and choose those things which add to their own search for meaning. Many thanks to the author for sharing and adding to my quest for meaning.
Loni Spendlove
Jul 06, 2012 Loni Spendlove rated it it was amazing
How can someone forgive completely at the apex of a excruciating tragedy? In the moment he realized that his wife and two of his four children were gone after a drunk driver crashed into their car, Chris Williams heard a command to "Let it Go!". Williams' story does not focus on his supernatural ability to forgive, but on how willing he was to let Christ bear his burdens. Heads up: If you are going to read this book, grab a box of Kleenex! This was such a personal and moving message that will ca ...more
Erika B. (SOS BOOKS)
"No, this sound was coming from right where I sat, not from my throat, but from deep inside my body. I was the one making that horrific sound-that sound of excruciating anguish and pain, of a body and a spirit being crushed. I opened my eyes and turned to look out the driver's side window. I saw the car that had just hit us resting upside down on it's roof about fifty feet uphill from my car. The horrific sound ceased as did the voices outside the car; there was suddenly an immense peace and sil ...more
Oct 12, 2015 Alison rated it really liked it
What a great example of true forgiveness... which is offered whether the offender asks for it or not. I appreciated reading the personal, religious and moral motives behind his actions but would have liked a little more practical insight into his family members experience, the kid who drove the other car, and more about their interactions. However, I realize he wrote this book as a personal perspective and it was inspiring nonetheless.
Dec 20, 2012 Cathi rated it it was amazing
Because I had seen the video about Chris Williams several years ago and because I heard him speak at Time Out For Women this fall, I really wanted to read his book. I'm very grateful that I did. Of course, this book is difficult to read at times, because of the incredible tragedy that the Williams family endured. But I loved Brother Williams' candid realism, sense of humor, and optimism, even as he tells about heart-breaking situations and emotions. Also, the book's overall message of ...more
A. R.
Apr 16, 2013 A. R. rated it it was amazing
I was interested in this story but a little apprehensive to read the book. I was afraid it was going to be 1. a great tearfest (it was) and 2, guilt inducing. I mean seriously, this man lost his wife, unborn child, and a son and daughter in a tragic could my measly troubles even compare? I was so pleased to find I was wrong on the second count.

Yes, there was a feeling as I began to read his account that my life is a cake walk. But the more I read the less I felt that way. His stor
Jan 14, 2013 Lori rated it it was amazing
This one was a tear jerker! I found that Williams way of "letting it go" applies to all aspects of life not just the big ones - like loosing your family to a drunk driver. I found his insight very thought provoking and was in awe of his ability to remain true to his committment that he made just minutes after the accident. I loved his perspective of the Atonement and it really brought a new level of understanding for me. It is a very abstract topic but one that affects our lives in ways that I a ...more
Apr 11, 2016 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Reading this book was like breathing fresh air. Our world is full of negatives and self centeredness. It was inspiring to read a book that 'goes against the grain' and tells of forgiveness when, I believe, the majority population would be looking for revenge...proving that misery does indeed love company. Chris goes the unpopular route and tells of his choice (or rather obeying God's command) to forgive. What I found especially inspiring is that he didn't eventually forgive the teenager who caus ...more
Apr 24, 2015 Verona rated it it was amazing
Although this book was difficult emotionally to read, it was profound in its teachings. I feel so much more understanding of The Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ after reading Chris Williams' experiences. He truly learned first hand about the mercy and love of the Savior for every individual soul on earth through the traumatic accident he and his family endured. His courage and compassion were almost unbelievable to me considering his loss. The way he was able not only to forgive the teen d ...more
Jul 28, 2012 Virginia rated it it was ok
Name: Let it Go: A True Story of Tragedy & Forgiveness
Author: Chris Williams
ISBN: 9781609071271
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Deseret Book Company
Publication/Expected Publication: July 30, 2012

If you are not a Christian, this book will probably not interest you. The author is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. When tragedy strikes his family (in the form of a drunk driving accident), he depends on his faith in God to see him through those trying times.

It was hard for me to
Feb 07, 2013 Stacey rated it liked it
For some reason I had a hard time reading this book. It didn't take me long to get through (its very short), along with being incredibly sad it just didn't seem very cohesive. At many times his thoughts seemed very scattered. And because he was constantly phasing in and out of past events to relate to the main story it was difficult to go back and forth. Granted, I understand that he is not a writer. It just seems like the publishing company would have provided a good editor to assist him in mak ...more
Nov 16, 2012 Annie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
I don’t know if there is a word to accurately describe the enormity of this slim book. It’s heart-wrenching and personal, a horrific tragedy that becomes astoundingly uplifting and incredibly inspirational. I would recommend this to anyone with a problem, anyone going through a tough time. The events Chris Williams experienced, and the decisions he made as a result of them, are humbling to say the least.
Chris Williams is a happily married father of four children, with one on the way. One Friday
May 16, 2014 Beth rated it it was amazing
A sad yet hopeful, beautiful story: a man loses his pregnant wife and two of his children in a car accident but immediately (like, while still at the crash site) forgives the teenaged drunk driver who caused it. At first I didn't know how I would feel about that -- it doesn't seem a reasonable reaction -- but I came to really appreciate and admire his perspective. If there was something I learned from Chris Williams' story, it is that forgiveness is both a gift and a choice: a gift in that it co ...more
Jody Phillips
Mar 12, 2016 Jody Phillips rated it it was amazing
Having a relationship with Jesus Christ is important if you are to comprehend this book. Otherwise it will be another sad story, but maybe not understandable or enlightening. The author's feelings and observations are real, personal, and inspirational.

My favorite line in the book: can't always appreciate why you should keep moving forward until you've gone far enough to turn around and see the progress you've made.
Jul 20, 2013 Staci rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club, 2013
Read this for book club and boy was I hesitant! Perhaps I wasn't in the right mindset but it reminded me an awful lot of the movie "Signs". Tragic event happens and then the author goes back over everything that prepared him for that event.
It was encouraging and yet almost overwhelming. I tried to read passages to my husband and we discussed how my mother reacted to my dad being killed in a motorcycle accident when I was 5. She did not pass along angry feelings about the man who hit my dad. She
Allison Esplin
Aug 21, 2015 Allison Esplin rated it really liked it
Amazing story of forgiveness under excruciating and heartbreaking circumstances. I loved the book and was very inspired by Chris's attitude and commitment in following the promptings he felt to "Let it Go." The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I was hoping it would go into a little more detail about Cameron's life and recovery after the accident.
Feb 13, 2014 Mindy rated it liked it
So many good points in this book, and things I can apply in my own life. Moving forward through trials, "pull up" when despair starts to set in...forgiveness and happiness in life are possible no matter what. I'm glad I read this book.
Sep 16, 2015 Suzan rated it really liked it
Very inspirational and thought provoking with a beautiful and important message. It's an amazing example of the Atonement of Jesus Christ at work.
Feb 04, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Such a great example for us all!!! I enjoyed his words and experiences of how he let it go! Great book!
Lisa Nelson
No rating for this one. My friend Linda just finished this book. She decided not to rate the book because of the tragic and personal nature of the book. I decided to follow suit and leave it unrated as well.

The author's wife, son, daughter and unborn baby died in a horrific car crash caused by a drunk driver. The author goes through a personal journey of working through the event and previous events in his life and comes to grips with forgiveness in a powerful and inspiring way. There is much t
Jan 11, 2016 Liz rated it really liked it
I wanted to read this book after seeing the recent movie "Let it Go" and feeling it (understandably) left out some of the personal details that I wanted hear. This story is so compelling, but growing up with Michelle and her family, as well as the White family whose son was the driver who struck their car has made it especially compelling . Although I was aware of some of the personal details that weren't included in the Mormon Message, the book includes several spiritual of Chris's I hadn't hea ...more
Jun 06, 2015 Shannon rated it it was amazing
Wow! This is an amazing story. I bought this book several years ago. When it first came out. But I never read it. I knew it would be a heartbreaking story about forgiveness and sometimes you don't want to read something that you think will bring you down. I imagined I would shed many tears reading this book. So it wasn't until now that I decided I would read it. I felt I needed a lesson in "humble pie" and a lesson to be grateful for all that I have. I figured this heartbreaking story should do ...more
Mar 15, 2014 Megan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Megan by: Time Out for Women/Deseret Book
This book is the true story of a man who had his life completely turned over when a drunk driver hit his car and killed his pregnant wife and two of their children (Chris and one other child were in the car, but were not killed). At the very moment of the accident, before he could even perceive how bad it would be for him, he heard/felt these words, "Let It Go." This became his mantra as he worked to put his life back together, to grieve the loss of his wife and children, and to take care of his ...more
May 21, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: Wendy
It was a moving book, I cried many times as I read it. Partly because it is a devastating story, especially as you realize what happened when the author was 16, just one year younger than the boy who hit their car. Many of the things he talked about reminded me of one of the most life changing events in my life where I felt completely out of control of the situation and yet at once very sure that the Lord was in control and all would be as it should in the end. I don't know that I could do what ...more
Mary Lou
Feb 05, 2014 Mary Lou rated it it was amazing
A great book for healing. Puts life into perspective. Makes you realize your blessings.

My favorite quotes in the book:
"you can't always appreciate why you should keep moving forward until you've gone far enough to turn around and see the progress you've made"

As the years passed and our family grew, we became less interested in moving into something larger and more interested in being debt free. The feeling of freedom from debt that we experienced was great, but it felt even more wonderful being
Lisa Jennings
Aug 16, 2012 Lisa Jennings rated it it was amazing
Very well written, I couldn't put the book down. I am honored to have known Chris from previous employment and so when I read this book, I could see the genuine Chris I knew. My heart aches for the pain he has endured. It's an amazing story of forgiveness and faith, and although, we don't share the same religious beliefs, I know he was guided and inspired... it gives me hope.
Nov 20, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
It was inspiring for me to read about Chris Williams' decision to follow the Savior's promptings to handle a family tragedy in a way that blessed not only his own family, but also blessed the young man whose drunk driving caused the horrific accident that killed Williams' wife and three children.
Kiersten Hislop
Oct 11, 2015 Kiersten Hislop rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Whoever is feeling down, and needs a little inspiration in their lives.
Recommended to Kiersten by: My friend.
Genre: Biography
The name of the book I chose to read is "Let It Go." There is great reasoning for this. The author, Chris William's had to make an important decision, surround a very difficult event. He had a wonderful relationship with his wife and his five amazing children, with one on the way. Unfortunately, they were involved in a terrible accident, when a teenage drunk driver hit them straight on. His wife, unborn baby, and two other children were killed instantly. His youngest son was in c
Apr 28, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Writing a review for a memoir somehow feels wrong, so I will say this: I appreciated the perspective of the author. I can't, no, I don't want to, imagine going through something like this. What a trial! It was interesting to review at book club talking about how hard it would be to forgive, and what a blessing it was that he was basically informed at the moment of realization that he needed to forgive, or this experience could have ruined many more lives than the ones of those tragically taken. ...more
Jul 18, 2012 Mturney1010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, nonfiction
A remarkable story that gave me the desire to forgive and a become closer to my savior. This book doesn't focus on the pain Chris Williams felt as he lost his family but on the sacred, spiritual moments he was granted as he faced this tragedy.
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Chris Williams was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah.

After graduating from the University of Utah, he went to work as an IT architect and systems engineer. He is now an executive with IBM.

He and his family currently reside in Salt Lake City.
More about Chris Williams...

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