Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Review: Life After by Katie Ganshert


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.

My Thoughts:

There are certain events in our lives that mark us.  Some huge and some small, but we can definitely see the before and the after of such events or circumstances.  In author Katie Ganshert’s novel, Life After, we see that change for the lone survivor of a horrific attack on Chicago city’s transit.  Autumn Manning is the only survivor and the other twenty-two passengers’ deaths haunt her. Dealing with a bit of memory loss, the whys for the reason she survived when everyone else perished, and immersed deep in survivor’s guilt she slowly tries to regain her life and a purpose for it when the daughter of one of the victims reaches out to her.

I was thoroughly invested in this novel as Autumn must see that she is still among the living and not with those who died.  The author really showed how one might have felt and what they may be going through after such a terrible event and as Autumn learns to live again, she realizes that she is not the only survivor.  The victims’ families also must learn to survive without their loved ones.  It was very interesting to watch how these strangers’ lives intersect due to this one horrific act and how for one particular family who has lived under an umbrella of shame and lies, the truth will set them free.

Poignant and exquisite storytelling, this is my favorite by author Ganshert.

I received a copy of this novel for free from the publisher.  I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:

Award-winning author, Katie Ganshert, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education, and worked as a fifth grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her family.

When she’s not busy penning novels or spending time with her people, she enjoys drinking coffee with friends, reading great literature, and eating copious amounts of dark chocolate. You can learn more about Katie and her books by visiting her website or author Facebook page.

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