Life After

24105713Snow 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.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**

5 StarAny book that can profoundly affect you is a great book. No, it is a phenomenal book. Between the covers of Katie Ganshert’s latest novel, Life After, is a story about the little things and the big things. The big things that redirect the course of life, but the little things that truly matter.

Life After is full of characters that I learned to deeply care about and connect with. For Autumn Manning, there are a couple of big things in her past that have changed her. For me, I found myself connecting with her on a level that I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced with another character. And Paul Elliott, well, his story in many ways drove the plot of this book forward. I was trying to figure out the pieces of the puzzle as he was so reluctant to share them. Then there are all of the minor characters who find themselves on these pages—every one of them have their own story to tell and lessons to share.
But, at the end of this book, that last page was bittersweet. Like any other book, even a great story has to end. The author stops writing and it is up to the reader to imagine what comes next. It was sad to have to bid farewell to these characters, but the story in this book is thought provoking and will leave me holding the story in my mind and in my heart.

“I think that the second we find ourselves asking ‘Who am I?’ is the second we become the perfect person for the job.”

-Pop, Life After

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