I'm kicking this week off with a review! I had the pleasure of reading Life After by Katie Ganshert for a book club I'm in. Three cheers for my local library having it in stock (although I would have requested them to add it any way). I devoured it within a few days and now I'm sharing my thoughts. But first...
About the Book
"It could have been me.
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."
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That's exactly how I felt after reading Ms. Ganshert's latest release. This book takes you through a gamut of emotions. From the opening scene in the prologue that grips you in its trenches to the last scene that leaves you with that warm glow and spark of hope that life can overcome tragedy.
After reading Ms. Ganshert's Gifting series, I seriously wondered if she could top herself. Y'all, Life After is it. It's in a completely different genre, has a completely different feel, but still has the strong, beautiful voice that is in Ms. Ganshert's writing.
There's a strength in Autumn Manning that she doesn't know about as the story begins. Watching Autumn struggle through tragedy, question the meaning of it all, and examine her faith is truly moving. You can't read this book and not be changed afterward.
It's one of those books you want everyone to read. One of those books that you have to talk about and dissect every nuance, because you're sure every word has meaning and a purpose. It's not just fiction, it's a way for us to understand the power of a God who weeps with His people.
And Paul Elliot. He's a man who show extraordinary strength for those he loves. Though he doesn't always make the right choices, he's there to remind us of our humanity. He's there to represent the one seeking light in the darkness. I thought it would be Autumn who would represent that, but Paul was entrenched in a darkness of his own doing.
They're two sides of a coin: Autumn and Paul. Autumn the victim of circumstance. Paul, the victim of secrets. And through Life After they discover who God is to them and how He'll get them through the other side.
I hope you pick this book up and I hope you move it to the top of your TBR pile. You won't be sorry. And to leave you with a teaser, I'll quote from this novel: