If you are looking for a light, sweet book, this is not the one. LIFE AFTER deals with some pretty heavy topics, such as survivor's guilt, grief, and betrayal. It's a gripping story, beautifully written, with compelling characters. It's a book to savor and ponder and would be a great book club selection. I highly recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy but was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
What a book! I was not happy every time I had to put it down and do something else. This one takes a while to process after you finish it. Raw, true, and unflinching, author Katie Ganshert in no way skirts the issues that can came with tragedy. Yet through it all is a glimmer of hope. Hope that life can begin again. Hope that, as the writer says, the phoenix will rise from the ashes. Written clearly and succinctly, you'll see how life can change in a moment, and you will look at your life differently. Moving and riveting, you won't be sorry you read Life After.
I received an advance copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
This is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read! It so eloquently details how you can be living your everyday life and in a split second EVERYTHING changes. This is the story of Autumn Manning, an ordinary young woman who becomes the Sole Survivor of the L-train bombing in Chicago. Her story is painful, pitiful, challenging, hurtful, heartbreaking, inspiring, life-changing, enduring and heartwarming. YES! That much emotion in one character in one book! But there's so much more!! Autumn interviews the families of the 22 victim's families and gets to know them and all about their lives. In doing so, she begins to find the healing she has so desperately needed. She develops a special relationship with one family in particular and the future is bright for them. This story is so touching as it explores the depths of the human soul and the where is God when bad things happen? My favorite quote of the book is this by Ina May Huett who lost her husband Lazarus. She said this as she was speaking at the Memorial Service for the Victims. She said, "Before Jesus performed His big fancy miracle, He met those two sisters in the middle of their pain, and He wept along side 'em. That's our God." Ina May gave her finger a wag. "We worship a God who might not give us the miracle, but He will always give us the comfort. And that, my friends, is the God I see here, alive and active, in this sanctuary today." I received a complimentary copy from the author. The honest opinion and review are my own and were not required.
Life After is a great read. Autumn finds herself the only sole survivor when a bomb explodes on a train she was riding on. A year later, she is still having the guilt of surviving, while the others can never be brought back. She does not want them to be forgotten. She, then, meets Paul, the husband of one of the victims who were killed. He, too, is having the guilt of the secrets he hopes will stay buried with his late wife. Can these two lost souls find hope, be able to let go, and put faith in God?
I found this book to be a heavy read. The emotions and struggles with Autumn and Paul are so well written and true to life. I felt like I knew these two and wanted to give them a hug and tell them it will be okay. This had to be a hard book to write for Katie Ganshert. So many heart wrenching scenes, but they were others that were oh so good for the soul. This is most definitely a must read!
I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is of my own opinion.
Life after having the pleasure of reading you is bittersweet. There were times I had to put you down and weep, so overcome with sorrow. Other times you gut punched me with such poignant truths. And other times my heart felt like it would burst from joy and smiles.
Autumn feels like she's drowning from guilt. Oh, so much guilt. But she's not afraid to ask questions. BUT once she's willing to listen, then God answers. They're just not the answers she's been expecting. And Paul, he's struggling with guilt, too. I really loved his resolution. I don't want to give away any spoilers... ; ) Suffice it to say that he experiences a dump of God's sacrificial love.
As you may have guessed, this is not a light read. This is one of those books that does not avoid the hard, the hurt, and the pain that life gives you. It tackles those questions head on, kind of like an angry bull attacking the man in red. What you're left with is a deeply moving, beautiful story with stellar writing.
Four and a Half Stars. A fabulous novel! I'm looking forward to whatever Katie writes next!
I received Life After by Katie Ganshert from WaterBrook & Multnomah. All opinions expressed are my own.