Life After by Katie Ganshert (Review)

Book Review, Grown Up Books
Life After by Katie Ganshert. A novel about a young woman overcoming the terror of a train bombing. A beautiful story of finding love, hope, and redemption.

Life After by Katie Ganshert. A novel about a young woman overcoming the terror of a train bombing. A beautiful story of finding love, hope, and redemption.This post contains affiliate links.

Life After by Katie Ganshert

Age range: adult (OK for teens) | Paperback: 352 pages | Publisher: WaterBrook (April 18, 2017)


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.


Find the Book

Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository | Kobo


My Thoughts on Life After

One thing’s for sure, Katie Ganshert doesn’t write fluffy books. She fills her stories full of complex situations and fills her characters full of complex emotions. She has a knack for taking broken characters and putting them through a series of events that makes them grow and change into different people. Better people.

Autumn is a woman drowning in nothing. The only survivor of a train bombing incident, she is consumed by guilt, grief, and obsession over the twenty two other victims who lost their lives. She quit her job, broke up with her fiancé, and spends her days and nights haunting the dead — until the daughter of one of the victims shows up on her doorstep, forcing herself and her family into Autumn’s life. The girl’s father, Paul, is just as broken and conflicted as Autumn.

If you’re hoping for a steamy romance, you’d better read something else. Life After isn’t so much a romance novel as it is the emotional journey of Autumn, Paul, and Paul’s children toward healing, acceptance, and overcoming guilt. It’s about repentance, change, and finding God’s plan in the craziness we call life.

If you like stories of personal change and conquering your demons, you’ll love this book.

Content: Clean, but there are references to an affair.

Source: I received a copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program.



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  • Reply
    jen ryland
    April 18, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    “If you’re hoping for a steamy romance, you’d better read something else.”
    I’ve been reading a lot of romances lately, but I’ll keep this in mind for when I’m ready for something serious. I love complex characters!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      April 18, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      I loved how she made her characters so broken. It makes their happy times that much better. I hope you get the chance to read it sometime!

  • Reply
    Jess@Fairday's Blog
    April 18, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Wow! This sounds like a powerful read. Your review made me very curious. I can see this is one that will make me think about the characters and plot after I finish it. Looking forward to picking it up!

  • Reply
    Tressa @ Wishful Endings
    April 22, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    I really like this author and I’ve heard great things about this one, but that it was different than her usual, as in less romance and fluff. I just got my copy this week so I’m hoping to read it soon. Great review!

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      April 24, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      I definitely wouldn’t categorize this book as fluffy, lol! I think you’ll like it, Tressa. Happy reading!

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