‘Life After’ by Katie Ganshert: a Review

Why did Autumn survive when 22 others did not? A review of Katie Ganshert's novel, 'Life After.'Life After

by Katie Ganshert

From the back cover:

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.

About the author:

Katie Ganshert, author of 'Life After.'Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes all the things. She’s won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun. You can learn more about Katie and these things she writes at her website www.katieganshert.com.

My thoughts:

Why did Autumn survive the bombing when twenty-two others did not? Why was she on that particular train that day? Why…?

Just as Autumn searches for the answers to so many whys, we often do the same. We want to understand, but sometimes we only understand that we’ll never know.

Life After shares the stories, and ultimately the lessons, of those impacted by a traumatic experience. Looking through their eyes as they struggle opens a fresh perspective on another person’s pain.

While I enjoyed the story, I was surprised to see two separate references to premarital cohabitation. I do not expect characters to be perfect (for then they would be unbelievable), but it did bother me that this behavior was included as if it was normal, acceptable behavior. It may be becoming “normal” in our culture, but that doesn’t make it right, and in Christian fiction, I would expect that it would be addressed either as morally wrong or with remorse. It was not.

If you’re looking for a novel that doesn’t shy away from difficulty, Life After will challenge you as you walk alongside hurting people. Hopefully it will leave you with a whole new level of compassion.

(I received a complimentary copy of this novel. The thoughts expressed here are entirely my own.)


3 thoughts on “‘Life After’ by Katie Ganshert: a Review

  1. carylkane

    Wonderful review, Sarah! I’m looking forward to reading this one!

  2. Connie Saunders

    Thanks for your honest review. Katie’s books are usually very well written and very well received!

  3. Faith Posten

    I appreciate your honest review of Katie’s book. However I’m with you about premarital sex as well as very disappointed that it was not referred to as sin. That is the reason why I only read Christian fiction books rather than secular because I expect it to be wholesale as well as a teaching tool at times!

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