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Refuse to Drown Review

Refuse to Drown: A Father’s Unthinkable Choice

Refuse to Drown Review

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I recent read the book Refuse to Drown by Tim Krieder and Shawn Smucker. First let me say that Tim Krieder is amazingly brave to share his story. He and Shawn Smucker did a great job on this memoir. This book is both easy to read and compelling. Kreider does an excellent job of conveying his feelings of confusion and grief throughout this book.

In a nutshell:

Tim Kreider’s small town is shaken by a violent triple murder. Krieder’s son Alec is good friends with one of the victims (his parent’s were also murdered). Kreider worries about how his son will handle the emotions of having his friend murdered. He is shocked weeks later when his son confesses to the murder.

Refuse to Drown isn’t a story of his son’s crime. It is a story of how he struggled and learned love and support his child, no matter what. I know that description sounds like a real downer, but this book has stuck with me. Kreider discusses his feelings as a father and how his faith in God sustained him. This book is not full of trite Christian and answers and a happy ending. Instead it speaks of a father’s love and his honest, brutal struggle to come to terms with his son’s horrible crime.

I don’t really know what else to say about it, and I’m rarely at a loss for words. So here it is: get a copy of the book and read it. You won’t regret it.


  1. imagesz

    I downloaded a sample of this book on my nook last night..I am the parent of a young adult son with serious mental illness and it’s hard not to place myself in this Tim Krieder’s shoes. My son no longer has violent spells but does still experience psychosis and my biggest nightmare is that he could hurt someone while in a psychotic state. As soon as I finished the sample I bought the book and am almost finished with it. (Stayed up way too late reading! 🙂 What a powerful story… thank you so much for reviewing and recommending it.


    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Thank you for sharing this. I am so glad Kreider decided to share his story. He’s obviously not the only parent going through this.

  2. queli

    I remember when this happened. I grew up in Lancaster County & was working for the city. The mom who was murdered was my boss’s son’s teacher. Within a little over a years span, we had three horrific murders in the county – the amish school shooting in Peach bottom, a young man who murdered 5 family members in Leola not far from where I was living w/ my parents – he was the boyfriend of a girl my mom taught in SS class & I remember thinking it could have been her. I remember being completely shocked by this crime & that this dad turned in his son. I couldn’t (still can’t) imagine the emotions running rampant to do the right thing in this instance. I didn’t know he wrote a book. I’ll have to check it out.

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