Book Review: Life After

Life After – Katie Ganshert – Waterbrook – Published 18 April 2017





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.

My thoughts

Confession: I’ve never read a book by Katie Ganshert before. Now, I am asking myself why? WHY NOT? Exaggerated forehead smack, Tate style. So I picked up Life After because it sounded really good and my Goodreads friends were giving it great reviews. And now I have learned my lesson and I will definitely be reading more of Katie Ganshert’s books. Life After is a beautiful, incredible book. Moving, sad, and uplifting. It digs deep, faces some really hard questions and packages it all up in a story that is incredibly enjoyable to read.

Autumn Manning was the sole survivor in a tragic attack that killed twenty-two others. Twenty-two lives that she obsesses and worries over each night. Twenty-two unfinished stories. When Reese Elliott, the daughter of one of those twenty-two people, reaches out to Autumn, their lives become entangled, forcing hidden truths into the light and maybe even starting a new future for Autumn and the Elliott family.
Life After is a beautiful story. The pacing is perfect. Basically, everything is perfect. Heartbreaking, but perfect.

The romance is a wonderful addition to the story. It doesn’t take over the story, just adds to it, creating a wonderful possibility of healing and renewed hope and laughter. It also provides some wonderful scenes that give relief to the story, needed contrast to the otherwise intense tone. I especially loved that basketball scene.

Tate is gorgeous, Reese stole my heart, Paul I just wanted to hug, and I was cheering Autumn on every step of the way. This book combines so much. It is multifaceted, detailed, and considered. There is so much I could write about, so much I loved, but, if you’ll excuse me, I’d rather go read another of Katie Ganshert’s books instead.

More information

Category: Fiction

Genre: Christian contemporary.

Themes: Family, grief, death, tragedy, secrets, romance, children, marriage, relationships.

Published:  18 April 2017 by Waterbrook.

Format: Paperback, ebook. 352 pages.

ISBN: 9781601429025

Find it on Goodreads


  1. A Book. A Thought.

    Great Review, looks super interesting 😊

    • Madison's Library

      Thanks. It really is an amazing book. It took me by surprise, but I loved every minute of it. Well worth reading.

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