Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Life After by Katie Ganshert

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (April 18, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601429029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601429025
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches

About the Book:

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: 

Prepare for MAJOR gushing, readers!  I'm a HUGE fan of Katie Ganshert and have loved all of her novels...but "Life After" is a real game changer for me.  She has raised the bar high, high, HIGH with this newest release.

Autumn Manning struggles with much more than survivor's guilt.  She struggles with a multitude of issues, the kind of issues that we wrestle with on a daily basis: worth, perspective, acceptance, craving love, family, identity...and the list goes on.

On the surface, you could read this as a love story with two broken people coming together to find love and healing.  Paul Elliott is just as broken as Autumn, and his struggles are just as multi-layered: loss, grief, panic, guilt, loneliness, fear, being enough...again, the list is endless.

This alone makes Autumn and Paul into Everywoman and Everyman.  But the story goes even deeper as it exposes our own flawed humanity and how we respond to the events in our lives.  Do we hide, like Autumn?  Do we burrow in and refuse to come out (this is my go to response: turtle mode).  Or do we step into the Light and try to move forward?

Or maybe like Paul, we accept false blame, artificial guilt and emotional manipulation by those we love and those who claim to love us.  Do we develop a grudge worthy of a movie title?  Do we let roots of bitterness take hold in our souls, allowing them to grow until we can't see or feel the Son?  Or do we own our own stuff, refuse to carry someone else's stuff, and then lay our stuff at the foot of the cross?

Two broken people do not make a whole person.  They simply can't.  Oh, we can try to make a relationship work, but the cracks and holes and dents will always, always rob us of what could be.  And I don't want to settle for what is...I want what could be.  So, will Autumn and Paul feel the same?  You'll have to read "Life After" to find out!

Because Katie doesn't always tie things up into neat and tidy bows...sometimes the bows are crooked, and sometimes, despite her best efforts at controlling her imaginary people...they do what they want and invite her along for the ride.

And, oh, what a ride "Life After" is!  Stock up on tissues for the tears and laughter that await you.  I'm so thrilled I received an advance copy of "Life After" that I ordered my own finished copy (but no obligation was met for my freebie).  You may just want to buy multiple copies and get together with a few girlfriends or guyfriends for a group read. 

Because you just might find your own healing in this powerful work of fiction.

That's why "Life After" is getting my "For Such a Time" award, and I'm anxiously awaiting the next new project from must read, must love author Katie Ganshert.  But, until then...

Mark Your Place,




Just One More Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon