Oh. My. Goodness. Life After was one of the best novels I have ever read. It grabbed me from the very first sentence. Katie Ganshert starts with an amazingly deep premise that she fully explores, and follows through with deep character development and a page turning plot that never lets up.
I cared deeply for Autumn and Paul and Tate and Reese ~ I wanted to find out what happened in their lives. I enjoyed how the mystery around the life of Paul Elliott's marriage/dead-wife unfolded. And how the author gradually pieced together the hours and days that survivor Autumn Manning could not remember. But the neat thing was that when those mysteries were resolved, the book wrapped up quite nicely, with the reader still wondering "what if" about so many little things in life in general.
I've been wrestling with how to review this book all week. It defies description. Stunning. Moving. Enthralling. Insert every glowing adjective you can think of and Life After is all of them -- and so much more.
This novel had a profound impact on me. The author led me to view a certain scripture in a new light. Simple but powerful words convicted me to a new depth of understanding. And shortly after finishing this book I was able to share that new conviction with a friend who was really struggling. It affected -- and blessed -- her the same way it had me!
So now you want to know what that scripture is, right? Well, I'm not going to tell you, because it is so wrapped up in the story that I don't want to spoil it for you. This is a novel that you really need to discover for yourself -- one delectable page at a time. It's the kind of book you should dive into without knowing what to expect just so you can experience the wonder of it.
It's heartbreaking and hopeful and ultimately triumphant. If you only take one book recommendation from me this year, make it this one!
Shortly after reading this story, my husband and I drove through Chicago as we were enroute to Virginia (never do it during rush hour!). I envisioned Autumn and the other characters in this story as they lived in this very city. And when I actually saw one of the El Trains, I vividly pictured what happened to the victims in Life After. So, this story actually came to life for me as I traveled through Chicago. We wanted to do some sightseeing but rush-hour nixed that right away!
This story was emotional and gripping.
Autumn had a lot of emotional wounds from the train explosion who wouldnt after being the lone survivor? Finally, Autumn takes steps in order to heal.
Paul and his two children are victims from the explosion. Why? Because they lost a mother and wife that day. Tate is the youngest and he doesnt seem like he doesnt totally understand what really happened to his mother. Paul and Reese on the hand have the issues. Reese reaches out to Autumn. Through this, Paul and Autumn meet. As the months linger, Paul and Autumn find healing and something more within themselves.
The reason I gave this story three stars, was because I didnt approve of some of the things that were mentioned in the book. For example, Harry Potter. I do not approve of it and I see it as witchcraft, no matter what. It has no place in any Christian book. There were also other things I did not approve of that affected my rating. I honestly did not want to continue reading the book, but out of respect to the author and publisher, I kept my commitment to finish the book.
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
I give this book 4 stars! This is the first book I have read by Katie Ganshert. I really enjoyed this book. The book captured my attention from the first pages. I could not put this book down. I highly recommend this book.
The main character Autumn is the only survivor in a horrific train bombing. She struggles with why she was the only survivor and why so many others had to die. Autumn is such a realistic character. This book will hold a special place in your heart and will stay with you long after you finish the book.
*I received an advanced reader's copy of this book. No positive review was required. My opinion is my own.
Honestly, I have been waiting awhile to write a review. I read the book slower than I needed to...because I simply did not want to leave the book. I wanted to dwell with the characters for a long time, just sorta move in. I hesitated in writing a review because, all I keep thinking to tell you is just, "Read it." I will suggest this book to all my friends. I love it. I am not even using the words lightly. The characters are so honest and genuine and relate-able. The emotions explored are complex and beautiful and difficult. The book is so surprisingly and simply emotionally honest. And, truly...READ IT. You will love it.