I am not even sure I can give the proper review to Katie Ganshert’s book Life After. In some ways I wish this book was out closer to 911 and yet it was and is the perfect time for this book. It is a book about survivor’s guilt. Some one who survives when others die tragically. Someone who doesn’t understand why they made it out when others did not.
Autumn Manning is the lone survivor of a tragic El-train bombing. It is one year later and she is still unable to move on. She can’t figure out why she survived when those that died seem so much more deserving of it. She is troubled by the families of the victims seeing her as the hope of something good that will come out of this tragedy. She just has no idea why her.
Paul Elliott lost his wife in the bombing. He just wants to move on. He just wants a normal life for his two children. He definitely does not want anyone reminding them of their mother even if it is for the memorial of the one year anniversary.
Two lives changed for ever in a blink of an eye. But Katie writes us a story about the aftermath of a tragedy. What is it like once everyone goes home? What is it like to look in a mirror and know that you are the only one to have gone through something and yet there is no reason that you are still there and others are not? Why you? Why them? These questions and even more are ones that are addressed in this book. The answers don’t always leave you comfortable.
One of the secondary threads in the book is the story of family and how they can support you in the most loving way by not letting you stay where you are, but instead challenge you to move forward and face life.
I have found Katie’s books challenging. They are never a light read as she likes to take on issues not everyone is. She lets you look at life from a different perspective and sometimes that means we get a different view and not one we expected.