About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)
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.
Katie Ganshert has a way of incorporating weighty topics into her novels without weighing down the story or the reader. She makes you think and feel, intersperses fun and light moments amidst the challenges, and ultimately ends on a hopeful note. At least that’s what I’ve observed in the three stories of hers that I’ve read so far. That’s A Broken Kind of Beautiful, The Art of Losing Yourself, and now this one if you’re counting. Frankly, I love that combination of elements in a story.
In this one, there’s grief, there’s guilt, there’s surviving, there’s brokenness, and there’s picking up the pieces. Not necessarily in that order. In some ways it’s about two broken people helping each other put things in perspective and move on. It explores searching for the why behind tragedy, and it explores where comfort can be found. And there’s a tender, subtle, and emotionally satisfying love story in there too, along with a whole host of other relationships among a lifelike cast of characters.
Fans of the author’s earlier books will love this one. And if you haven’t read her earlier books? Please do. Book discussion groups, and readers who appreciate a well-crafted story with complex characters, written in beautiful lyrical language, will especially want to give this one a try.
Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes.