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Life After ~ Review

Life After
By Katie Ganshert

Autumn Manning is stuck in the memories she lost when she was the lone survivor of a deadly attack. She is stuck in her guilt over surviving and over the state in which her life now is.  Her nights are haunted by the lives that were ended and by those who were left behind. But an unexpected encounter is about to bring Autumn into the reality of one of the families that has been left bereft.

Paul Elliott is hoping for a new normal once the one-year anniversary of the tragedy that took his wife has passed. But his hopes are all too soon shattered when his preteen daughter, Reese starts acting up. And then there is the hidden pain that haunts him.

When Autumn and the Elliott family are unexpectedly brought together will healing begin or will even more damage be done to the lives of all involved? Autumn needs to discover the reason she alone was spared and to remember what she has lost. Paul just wants to shove away the pain and get past it all. And Reese needs something that she's been desperately missing in her life - her mother.

This book is moving as the various characters deal with the life they all find themselves living after the tragedy that shook Chicago. While reading one has to ask one's self,"What would I do in such a circumstance?' This also an intriguing look at the power of guilt, whether or not it is justified.

Katie Ganshert's books are not cookie-cutter offerings - each is unique in and of itself. The characters are a complex layering of emotions and insights that have the ability to bring out the reader's empathy. This book would be an excellent choice for a book club selection.

I was provided a review copy of this book by Blogging for Books with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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.

About the Author:
KATIE GANSHERT is the author of several novels and works of short fiction, including the Christy Award-winning A Broken Kind of Beautiful and Carol Award-winner, The Art of Losing Yourself. Katie lives in eastern Iowa with her family.

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