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Let It Go: A True Story of Tragedy and Forgiveness

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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,859 ratings  ·  473 reviews
Book by Chris Williams
Hardcover, 151 pages
Published August 2012 by Shadow Mountain (first published January 1st 2012)
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Cindy I didn't think so, no. It mentions things about the Mormon religion, but largely focuses on how he was able to forgive through the strength of his Sav…moreI didn't think so, no. It mentions things about the Mormon religion, but largely focuses on how he was able to forgive through the strength of his Savior.(less)
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Linda
Dec 20, 2012 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. ...more
Loni Spendlove
Jul 06, 2012 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
Stacey
Sep 12, 2012 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
Cathi
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-books
Because I had seen the Mormon.org 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
Ali
Oct 12, 2015 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.
A. R.
Apr 12, 2013 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 accident...how 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
...more
Virginia
Jul 27, 2012 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 enj
...more
Staci
Jul 20, 2013 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
...more
Lori
Dec 14, 2012 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
Carol
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book that everyone should read. We all have some burden that we need to let go and move on to live life to the fullest. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. It is a book that will cause you to stop and take a look at your own life.
Alisa
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Short read. I enjoyed the aspects of how this author realizes forgiveness and letting a very hard thing be turned over to the Savior. Sometimes that aspect of the Atonement is "hard to recognize", but I like how he explains it. It was a little disjointed in parts, but overall, it was such a sweet story of a man overcoming such a hard, hard experience and how he didn't do it alone. ...more
Cindy
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing story of grief and forgiveness. A practical guide to walking through tragedy and grief. A very inspirational book.
Beth
Sep 12, 2012 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
Annie
Nov 16, 2012 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
...more
Amber Spencer
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I purposely stay away from books that might wrench at my heart. But I pushed through this one for a book group. It has a lot of hard parts to read if you love anyone if your family, but the story focuses so much more on the growth and love and strength that come to all of us when we turn our burdens over to the Savior and let His healing Atonement penetrate our hearts and lives. Chris tells the story in an open and honest way - everything isn't easy or fun. It felt real, personal and hopeful. ...more
Lynne
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
3.5 Stars

A 17 year-old boy hits the author's car while drunk driving and kills his wife - who is 5 months pregnant, as well as his son and daughter. Another son is critically injured. He forgives the driver, who is tried as a juvenile and sent to a detention center. A movie was made about the story.

The book was a little too religious for my taste. Normally I like faith-based books, but I don't understand or believe in Mormonism, so maybe I was turned off by that (just being honest).

An example of
...more
Verona
Mar 12, 2014 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
Lauriej
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was a little nervous reading this book not knowing how hard it might be to read about this tragic event. I remember it so clearly. The desire to read about his great example outweighed the emotional factor though. The book is written very simply and jumps a bit. That's the only reason I would give it 4 stars. The concept and teachings in it are absolutely 5 stars. I could never imagine what he went through, but he explains the teachings of the Savior so perfectly that it entered my life solidl ...more
Heidi
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone, especially those who are going through difficult struggles and need guidance.
This was a wonderful true story about a man's story of forgiveness and allow the Savior to carry his incredible burden of loss. I went through several tissues reading this and following his heartbreaking emotions and experience, but I'm grateful that he was willing to share. I feel that my testimony of the Savior and His saving Atonement have increased and a desire to be better every day continues to grow as well. I'm rating this on the emotional impact that it's left on me, although I did appre ...more
Josephine
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Be prepared to cry. A lot. This was such a touching story. I had heard of Chris's story from his Mormon message video and as touching as that was it leaves you wondering if it's really possible for someone to forgive that quickly and thoroughly. This takes you through his thoughts and emotions.
It also details some things in his life that prepared him for this (including an accident he experienced as a teen himself). It was just very touching. I don't know if I could do what he did and my heart
...more
Lisa
Nov 13, 2012 added it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
...more
Tamra
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiography
Wow! Just, WOW. A book about the healing power of forgiveness . . . I could easily forgive (no pun intended) his writing style - or lack thereof - due to the fact, HE'S NOT A WRITER but, s survivor. The one complaint I have (which probably shouldn't be coming from an active LDS gal) . . . I just decided to leave it out . . . How's that? Everyone receives spiritual guidance and help from the "Other Side of the Vail" differently and listens differently and hears differently.
I would seriously re
...more
Hyrum
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
To rise from such devastation as losing the majority of your family in a single instance is inspirational. To be able to forgive so quickly does not come so easily to most. I found the experience to be excruciatingly profound. I have respect for the Author for overcoming and being the better. I did, however, struggle finishing the book as I felt the same point was driven over and over again. I understand faith played a huge role with the forgiveness process, but I felt as if the point was being ...more
Kara
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Was excited to read this book but I'm not actually glad that I did. I had a gift card to B&N and am sad i used it on this. I felt like I was reading a journal of this guys life, not a story. It didn't flow well and was kind of all over the place. It was a bit too spiritual, religious and preachy for me, and I'm even the same religion as the author. And I felt that the author was almost bragging about how easy it was for him to forgive this boy for killing his family ...more
Jody Phillips
Mar 12, 2016 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:
...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.
...more
Charles
May 18, 2016 rated it liked it
This is an inspiring read. It will help any reader to confront his own life and deal with issues of forgiveness. However the experiences of Chris Williams are extremely personal and every individual must find his own way through the trials of living. Chris Williams' trials were and are exceptional but some individuals wrestle and struggle quietly with their own trials that are not as spectacular but just as difficult and trying. This is a good read but not necessarily a road map for everyone. ...more
Lisa Jennings
Aug 16, 2012 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. ...more
Michelle
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book about forgiving. I loved his ability to move past this great grief in his life and work towards helping others. I appreciated his willingness to open up about a difficult time in his life. He inspired me by his reactions and the fact he exercised and prayed when things were hard. Great story!
Rebecca
Nov 14, 2012 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. ...more
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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.

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