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Life After: A Novel Paperback – April 18, 2017
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“Ganshert uses masterful pacing, engaging characters, and believable dialogue to bring readers along…tackling big issues powerfully.”
—Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“Another emotionally gripping page-turner from Katie Ganshert, a novelist who consistently writes with honesty and insight. Life After plumbs the depths of all that gives our existence meaning. Well done.”
—Susan Meissner, award-winning author of Secrets of a Charmed Life
“Katie Ganshert is a skilled writer who wrestles earnestly with the clashing forces of faith and fear. Life After will hook you on the first page.”
—Lisa Wingate, national best-selling author of Before We Were Yours
“Katie Ganshert has made her mark by writing compelling stories about resiliency and faith. In her latest, she draws us through the aftermath of trauma, examining the soul’s miraculous ability to not just survive but to thrive—even in the wake of tremendous suffering. The result is an emotional journey that prompts us to question the greater purpose behind every moment we are given.”
—Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of The Feathered Bone
“Life After grabbed me instantly with its brilliant prose, then immersed me in its pages with a story that went straight to my heart and refused to let go. Not that I wanted it to. Katie Ganshert has crafted a tale you will remember months after you finish. Highly recommended.”
—James L. Rubart, best-selling author of The Five Times I Met Myself
“Ganshert emerges as a proven, skilled storyteller in Life After. This high-concept, intriguing story will have you pondering the characters long after you finish the last page. From start to finish, you won’t want to put it down.”
—Rachel Hauck, New York Times best-selling author
“Katie Ganshert is one of my favorites! Her novels are rich in authentic characters, beautiful prose, and emotional plot lines. She’s a tremendously gifted storyteller.”
—Becky Wade, Carol Award–winning author of Undeniably Yours
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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Top Customer Reviews
I've been a Katie Ganshert fan from the start, probably even before her first novel was published. And with each subsequent story she puts out, I've been enchanted, entertained and an even more enthusiastic cheerleader. With this latest novel, Ganshert has stepped into the world of literary fiction, feet firmly planted. Truth, grit, sorrow, and the intrinsic need for survival blend seamlessly through a haunting storyline painted with God's amazing grace that will leave the reader with hope and much to ponder at the end. While Christian fiction has made great strides over the last few years, offering readers unique and exciting stories written by authors who aren't afraid to wade into deep water, Life After has raised the bar higher still. I think the world will be watching to see what comes next.
That's how I felt about this story. I wanted to relish every drop. So much so, that I may run off and read it all over again! Don't miss this book.
With any good book, the author has to write clearly enough for me to follow the story. Ganshert does a good job at this. Her writing is clear and concise. She doesn't head hop, and she allows the characters to speak what is really bothering their soul. The setting was described well that I could see the bus station or downtown Chicago, which I have been to a number of times since I only live three hours away.
Right away, Ganshert grabs my attention with the prologue and keeps my attention from then on. The story starts with nameless characters. (Don't worry. The characters will be revealed as you read the story!) These characters run into each other and then I feel the bomb go off. Chapter one starts with Autumn the only survivor of the story showing her existence in the world. The story really doesn't slow down at any time. Ganshert's completely original and unpredictable novel about how to move on after something tragic in life happens really spoke to my heart. I couldn't wait to uncover how Paul and Autumn were going to change.
Change . . . boy, did both characters change. A good novel has a transformation of its characters. Both Paul and Autumn were different people by the end of the book. At the beginning, Autumn is a shy, timid woman who completes numerous puzzles and avoids social interactions. Whereas, Paul is trying to handle being a single father to two kids and keeping the secret of his marriage in the dark. Unfortunately, Ganshert peels away their coverings and allows both of them to rely on each other and learn how to move on. One of my favorite things about Life After is Ganshert's abilities to reach inside each character and spill their inner turmoil on the pages. I completely empathized with Autumn and Paul, rooting for them to find happiness and peace in their struggles.
While the story held my attention, I did have one issue with the plot. What actually happened on the train? I see the bomb explode in the beginning, then I spend the rest of the story following Autumn and Paul on their path to happiness. I wanted to see what actually happened. Maybe Autumn could have Reese, Paul's daughter, read a newspaper article with images about the incident. Or have Autumn show an article when she is looking through her scrapbooks of the dead people. She probably has a number of the articles since she is so obsessed with the incident. Allow me, the reader, to see what happened. How destructive was the mess? Obviously, it was a huge mess if 21 people died from a bomb. This could be just me.
In conclusion, Life After by Katie Ganshert is a gut-wrenching story that buries deep into the human emotions after a horrible event. Maybe even having the reader nodding in agreement with why bad things happen to good people. Life After is a story that will stick with me long after I close the book.
I received a complimentary copy of Katie Ganshert's Life After from Waterbrook-Multnomah Publishers, and the opinions stated are all my own.
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