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Life After: A Novel by Katie Ganshert
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Life After: A Novel (edition 2017)

by Katie Ganshert (Author)

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2510428,870 (5)None
Member:scoutlee
Title:Life After: A Novel
Authors:Katie Ganshert (Author)
Info:WaterBrook (2017), 352 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:read 2017, new release 2017, fathers and daughters, fathers and sons, grief and loss, contemporary fiction, ebook 2017, life changing events, second chance, best of 2017

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Life After: A Novel by Katie Ganshert

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When a bomb rips through an e-train in Chicago, Autumn Manning survives the attack. But she suffers from a severe case of survivor guilt. And she questions 'Why?' over and over again.

Autumn begins to search out the families of the twenty-two individuals who died in the fiery crash. She meets Paul Elliott, who is overly cautious of Autumn, for the sake of protecting his daughter and son, who lost their mother in the attack.

This is one of those books you don't want to put down. You are taken through the gamut of emotions, even if you want to put the book down, you simply can't. You are so embroiled in the tale that you must keep on reading. Through the good. Through the bad. Through the loss. Through the pain. And more.

Ganshert is another excellent storyteller. She puts you in the leading role. And all I can say is hold on tight. It's a wild ride. And worthy every moment spending reading this novel.

I give it five stars,

a big thumbs up,

and my recommendation.

You can purchase the book on Amazon.com. The hardback copy retails for $35.95 and qualifies for free shipping and handling; the paperback retails for $9.27, plus shipping and handling, and the Kindle version is $9.99.

This reviewer read the Uncorrected Proof, and as such the final printing may differ slightly than the version reviewed here.

****DISCLAIMER: This book was provided by Amazon Vine in exchange for a fair and impartial review. The opinions above are solely those of this reviewer and may not reflect those of other reviewers. ( )
  texicanwife | May 8, 2017 |
Autumn boards a train and minutes later wakes up in a hospital with no memory of what happened after she left work. She is the lone survivor from the crash, caused by a bomber. She's racked with survivor guilt and can't seem to get past the thought of all of the people who didn't make it like she did. Her obsession leads her to a family that lost their wife and mother on the train that day. To complicate matters, she was initially mistaken for this woman and Paul, the husband, had come to identify her at the hospital. Paul just wants to move on, Autumn is stuck in time. The two are force to work together and as they do, healing happens.

I absolutely loved this story. The emotions were so raw, the drama so real. The author did a great job of pulling me into the story and I couldn't put the book down. The authenticity made me feel like each scene was actually happening as I read. The characters were flawed, wounded, and yet likeable. The plot was incredibly original and well thought out. The author wove so many inspirational and faith based messages into the story, but I didn't once feel overpowered or preached at. I have no idea what genre this story would be placed in, but I do know that it is a story that I will be recommending to everyone, regardless of their reading preferences. It's just that good.

I received a copy of this book. All thoughts expressed are my own. ( )
  tmurrell | Apr 19, 2017 |
"Cold stuck to her skin. She yearned for a hot cup of tea. A long soak in a warm bath. Something that might chase away the coldness that had seeped inside her bones long before she stepped outside." (2)

Everyone must read Life After by Katie Ganshert. If you decide not to read the rest of my review, at least get that first sentence. You must read this book. Life After is my favorite read so far in 2017, and can easily make its way to one of my top reads of ALL time. Back to the book. Life After takes you on an emotional journey, diving into the world of mass tragedy and survivors' guilt. What's more, it's not only survivors of the immediate tragedy, but also survivors in the sense of those left behind. What is life after for those affected? How will you find closure to the many "what ifs"?

"We rarely will know when death will come." (1)

When I first read Life After, I didn't expect the memories and feelings that it would evoke. I didn't expect to be become a bubbling mess, but the author's masterful portrayal of every emotion from the sole survivor, Autumn and those that were left behind, but with so many unanswered questions were spot on. You see, I understood. I've seen. I've heard and I've witnessed.

Life After's story is set in Chicago where a train explosion claim the lives of all but one. Despite the different circumstances, the author gave survivors of all types of tragedies a voice - a voice that reigns true and honest. Along with the message of God's comfort, Life After is beautiful as it is powerful. There will be stories within stories, with subplots that doesn't take away from the theme of "life after," but finding resolution in one's heart.

Sometimes, one step at a time, one day at a time, and know that He is the God of comfort, may be all we as survivors need - because we all are survivors.

"Life is hard, and almost always confusing. but one day we'll see clearly. One day it'll all make sense." (126)

For the full review, head to the original post at Just Commonly blog.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion. ( )
  justcommonly | Apr 19, 2017 |
Katie Ganshert is an amazing novelist so having the opportunity to read one of her books early is a real treat. In Life After, she does NOT disappoint as her masterful talent shines through in a vibrantly detailed and heart wrenching novel. She really knows how to hit you in the emotional gut hard.

She yanks the emotional drive up to a ten as you feel the desperation and trauma from her characters and the scenes. Her writing is so real you start to question how you would act, what you would feel if you were the sole survivor of a bombing. So often the focus is on who committed the crime and those that died we overlook those who are still here physically but may have died or become permanently injured in some kind of psychological or spiritual way when going through such a traumatizing experience.

I feel like this is one of those books I’d return to because every time you read it you’ll learn something new or how you view this story and its characters will change depending on your viewpoint at the time.

You read this and you’ll become an instant fan of Ganshert! ( )
  ttsheehan | Apr 4, 2017 |
Reading Life After is like taking a peek into the souls, hearts, minds, and lives of people. People who have been through a massive life changing event that shatters them to their very core. It is being enveloped in the emotions and heart wrenching hurt that they experience minute by minute and day by day.

Being the sole survivor of a horrific bomb blast in the city's train, Autumn feels and experiences the "why me" feelings of survivor guilt. And then there are those she is now learning to know, people who are now in her circle of acquantaince experiencing daily life who lost their loved ones in the same train explosion.

As the story unfolds new friendly relationships bloom and coping mechanisms begin to fall in place. However, the story is not just about people coming to terms and accepting what has happened to those lost in the bombing, it is about the difficulties they face in living their lives with their own personal shortcomings and interacting with family and friends.

Katie Ganshert's writing style is fresh and compelling. This is not a book to skim through. Even though it is a work of fiction, there is a wealth of wisdom and insight to be gleaned from the reading of this story.

Quotes to ponder from Life After:
"We worship a God who might not give us the miracle, but He will always give us the comfort."
“I guess that’s what life is...a whole bunch of little moments that don’t seem significant or life-altering at the time, but when you look back...they become the most profoundly beautiful things.”
"I'm not the most religious man. But I do believe in God. And the last I checked, He's the one in charge."
“Maybe comfort wasn't to be found in the why. Maybe comfort was to be found in the who. A God who wept."
"You know what I've learned about God?" ... "Circumstances don't dictate who He is."
“I guess that’s what life if, though, isn’t it? A whole bunch of little moments that don’t seem significant or life-altering at the time but when you look back...” She shook her head. “I don’t know. They become the most profoundly beautiful things.”
“This man had shown her a piece of his soul. A jagged, ugly, honest piece that was raw and bleeding and unlovely. A piece of his soul that matched a piece of hers.”
“She was a broken woman falling for a broken man who had a broken past and two beautiful, broken children.”
DISCLOSURE: As a member of Katie Ganshert's launch team, I received an Advance Reader's Copy to facilitate a review of the book. Opinions are simply my own and are freely given without compensation. Published by: WaterbrookMultnomah Publishing. ( )
  VeraGodley | Mar 26, 2017 |
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