In her latest novel, Katie Ganshert crafts an unforgettable tale that delves into humanity's response to tragedy, drawing you into the story with its poignant first line: "We rarely know when death will come." Life After is a heart wrenching look at the effects of tragedy and the beauty that can come from it. Autumn Manning is the sole survivor of a train bombing that took the lives of 22 others. One year after the tragedy that changed her life, she still is haunted by the lives that were lost and one burning question--why her? Why did she survive and not someone else? While trying to remember and honor the other victims, Autumn is forced to work alongside Paul Elliot, the man whose wife she was mistakenly identified as after the accident. Attempting to lay the past to rest and heal their broken hearts, they must both confront their shortcomings and overcome their need for answers, instead resting in the comfort of the God who controls everything. A powerful story told in Ganshert's poetic prose, Life After is a beautiful look at our response to tragedy and answers our all-consuming why with a who--a God who can shine the light of hope into the darkest night.
"But maybe she'd been asking the wrong question. Maybe comfort wasn't to be found in the 'why.' Maybe comfort was found in the 'who.' A God who wept."
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.
If you read only one novel this year, let it be this one!
April 18, 2017
One of the best books I have ever read. It's been a couple of months and rereading some of the quotes gives me the feels all over again! It's a bundle of genres....a bit of suspense/intrigue, a smidgen of romance, some self-help, and overall inspirational --it's all there in this powerful little package of 300+ pages. You will experience a plethora of emotions as the plot unfolds in the most intricate and unexpected ways.
Superb storytelling and authentic characters! An instant favorite!
April 18, 2017
Life After is going straight to my all-time favorites shelf. My reader heart is completely smitten with this book.
Autumn Manning is the sole survivor of a highly publicized tragedy yet the weight of living through such heart crushing destruction leaves her overwhelmed with survivors guilt. Paul Elliott has a couple of the most endearing kids I think Ive ever read and he is a stupendous daddy despite the familys loss and circumstances.
Both Autumn and Paul have supportive (sometimes pushy) family and friends who are present and concerned for them and the Elliott children. All the characters are beautifully flawed and authentic while the story weaves through some of lifes toughest questions while pointing readers to the Comfort amid the chaos of this world.
I requested the opportunity to read and review this title through the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.
Excellent book. This book is a bit difficult at first. It deals with some difficult situations but hang in there, it's worth it! I loved seeing the light begin to shine in not only Autumn's life but several other characters as well. Characters are realistic and multidimensional. This was the first Katie Ganshert book I've read. It will not be the last!