Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Review: Life After by Katie Ganshert

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city’s transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost.

A year later, Autumn Manning can’t remember the day of the bombing and she is tormented by grief—by guilt. Twelve months of the question constantly echoing. Why? Why? Why? Searching for answers, she haunts the lives of the victims, unable to rest. 

Paul Elliott lost his wife in the train bombing and wants to let the dead rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to cause more pain for his loved ones. He wants normalcy for his twelve-year-old daughter and young son, to see them move beyond the heartbreak. But when the Elliotts and Autumn are unexpectedly forced together, he fears she’ll bring more wreckage in her wake.

In Life After, Katie Ganshert’s most complex and unforgettable novel yet, the stirring prose and authentic characters pose questions of truth, goodness, and ultimate purpose in this emotionally resonant tale.

This was an amazing book! This is the first full length book I have read of this author (I've read a few of her novellas) and I really like her writing style.  The emotions and struggles that Autumn and the other characters go through are so well written that they grip your heart and you HAVE to keep reading to find out how it all turns out. 

The angst of turning teenager Reese and the emotions she's going through and the anxiety she's causing her father is so heart-breaking.  And then there is Paul's secret about Vivian and how his guilt is eating at him.  Paul and Reese have to learn to be open and honest with each other and those around them in order to start the process of healing.

Autumn's guilt about being the only survivor has totally changed her life.  She has so many issues to work through but she slowly opens herself up to her family and those around her again.  I love how her family is there for her even though they overwhelm her sometimes.  Autumn's interaction with the victim's families for the video is precious and helps further the healing process for all involved.  

This is a complex story with a depth of emotion that will take you from sorrow and guilt to healing and hope and leave you with the beautiful truth that God doesn't always give us the miracle but he will always comfort us if we let Him (Jesus wept!). 

*Thanks to the author and publisher for a complimentary ARC copy of this book. I was not paid or required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

K.E. Ganshert (Katie) was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes all the things. She's won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun. You can learn more about K.E. Ganshert and these things she writes at her website katieganshert.com.

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