Contemporary Fiction, Review

Life After by Katie Ganshert

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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.

Life After by Katie GanshertA 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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My Thoughts

Life After is going straight to my all-time favorites shelf. This story is so engaging, I’m pretty sure I actually climbed inside and landed in Autumn’s life. My reader heart is completely smitten with this book. Y’all, this is a soul-deep twitterpation! Are you following just how big I book love Life After? BIG BOOK LOVE! ????

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 survivor’s guilt. I especially appreciate the way Autumn recognizes her odd and marginally obsessive behaviors and strives to replace them with a healthy dose of journaling. Her journaling methods make me want to give it a go and y’all know how I feel about writing! #swoof

Paul Elliott has a couple of the most endearing kids I think I’ve ever read and he is a stupendous daddy despite the family’s loss and circumstances. I’m not saying he’s perfect or he does everything right (Paul has a twelve-year-old daughter, we all know it’s impossible to do everything right when kids are that age) but Paul is observant and involved. He wants his kids to know they are loved and cherished and he purposefully pursues and guards their hearts.

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 life’s 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.

Life After by Katie Ganshert quote

About the Author

Katie GanshertAward-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 following her on social media.

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Also Available

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What is your most frequent mode of transportation? least favorite?

11 thoughts on “Life After by Katie Ganshert”

  1. Well, I’ve never lived in a city big enough to have an extensive mass transport system. Bus routes, yes. Trains, no. So my car is my constant companion! As for least favorite transportation mode, I’d probably say flying. I’ve never flown first class, though, so maybe I’d feel differently if I had?? ????


  2. Fantastic review, Beth. I do quite a bit of driving since I live far from the Bible studies that I attend. Driving is my least favorite mode of transportation. I LOVE to fly! 😉


  3. I’ve been sitting on my review for a day now, hoping it says everything I want to say. Such an amazing story!

    Train is my favourite mode of transportation. Especially steam trains! I love the take off and landing in planes, but the whole 12 hours in the air thing? Cabin fever is real! Mind you, last time I did a long-haul flight I had a three year old and twins who were almost one. ???? What was I thinking?!


    1. I had long flights, too–so claustrophic and uncomfortable. You deserve a medal of honor for your bravery on your flight with 3 littles! I don’t know what you were thinking. You were probably brain dead from sleep deprivation and didn’t realize what you were doing! 😀


  4. Lovely review, Beth! Life After is such a riveting book. I definitely had a hard time *swoofing*, too! I have a hard time putting my feelings into words, especially when a book tugs on my heartstrings.
    My most frequent mode of transportation is by car. My least favorite would probably be by boat– I’m not a big water lover.


  5. Love your review Beth! Life After is a beautifully done book! My favorite of her’s for sure. I don’t really travel much and I don’t drive so I’m not sure how to answer for my favorite mode of transportation.


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