Life After by Katie Ganshert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Autumn’s story in Life After is so unique and has so many emotional twists and turns that I couldn’t put the book down and finished it in one sitting and then couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about the story all night!
I love books that make me think about life and death, love and family, and about why things happen. This book includes all of those and so much more. Not a chapter went by that I wasn’t pondering something new or feeling more and more connected with Autumn.
At so many points in the story I really related with the characters. Death is always a hard topic whether it be real life or in the pages of a story. Being confronted with so many deaths in one book was hard but Ganshert was quick to point out that being the one still alive was almost harder. The grief that Autumn lives with is immense. As I read I truly felt every emotion that she was dealing with and loved traveling life with her as she went through her recovery if you will. I really appreciated the journey it was for her because it wasn’t easy but she persevered.
I really liked Paul. There were so many times when I was frustrated with him but then he would do something so amazing or sweet and show his true self and I’d start to fall in love with him. But I truly adored Reese. She was probably the most complex child character I’ve ever read in Christian Fiction. The trials she goes through after losing her mother are awful but I admire her so much.
Ganshert has an amazing ability to put her characters through incredibly hard lives but to come out in the end so much stronger. Few authors can put their characters through so much, share their journey through life, and still me feeling satisfied at the end of the book. The growth that Autumn, Paul, and Reese all experience throughout the pages of this book is amazing. I loved all the ways that they overcame the hard parts of life and that so many outside sources were involved that were truly realistic to anyone going through similar battles. I hope this book spurs people who need help with similar issues of grief and depression not to be afraid to reach out to friends, family, the church, and/or a counselor.
And while love isn’t the main part of this novel don’t worry it is still there. For me, it was almost more special because it wasn’t the main focus of the story. I really enjoyed watching it unfold in the small ways.
The back of this book calls it Ganshert’s most complex novel yet and it certainly is. You do not want to miss this one. It is amazing.
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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