The Shack by William P. Young

God as you have never seen Him before.

God as you have never seen Him before.

Young, W. P. (2007). The shack: a novel. Newbury Park, Calif: Windblown Media.

The hostess of the Bible Study I attend each Tuesday determined that I, the librarian in the group, should choose a book for all of us to read for the summer. At the end of the season, the hostess wanted me to lead a discussion on the book I selected. Very quickly, my mom noticed The Shack by William P. Young. After I had read the first chapter on a website for the book, Mom and I quickly acquired the book. Soon, Mom had finished The Shack. Then, I was completely enthralled by this book myself.

The Shack is one book where a reader should start with the Foreword rather than skip to the first chapter. Here, the writer, “Willie” offers the reader a sketch of the protagonist, Mackenzie “Mack” Allen Phillips. Mack is a husband and a father of five children. While on a Labor Day weekend family camping trip with his three youngest children, his youngest child, Missy, is abducted. After seeing indications of Missy’s murder in an old shack, Mack feels The Great Sadness settle upon him. Four years later, Mack receives a letter from “Papa” (Mack’s wife, Nanette, calls God “Papa”). Papa invites Mack to the same shack for a weekend. When curiosity gets the best of Mack, Mack faces some of his darkest hours.

Overall, I was truly impressed by The Shack. I found Mack to be a sympathetic character. Also, I really appreciated Young’s writing style. I gather Young is a visual learner like me. I felt as though I could see perfectly the places and the situations where Mack walked. In addition, I like how this book presents questions such as: “Is it necessary to have a good, strong relationship with God?” “How can we be expected to forgive even the most heinous of crimes?” and “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

Much controversy has taken place over this book, actually. Some stores do not even sell it for crazy views presented in The Shack. While I do not agree with everything said by the characters, I found many of the points made quite valid. In the end, The Shack is a work of fiction. Yet, one uneasy thing to do would be to forget this book. Like belief and trust, some of the events and concepts presented in The Shack take a Kierkagaardian Leap of Faith.

Five Out of Five Pearls

Places: Oregon, Nebraska, Heaven,

12 thoughts on “The Shack by William P. Young

  1. Thanks for a great review for a wonderful book. I really liked the conversations between Mack, Papa, Jesus, Sarayu, and especially Sophia. It proves that we can’t make it without the triumvirate giving us a hand.

  2. Thanks for sharing some of your views on this book. I am convinced over and over that God is always with us. For sheer beauty and power chapter 15 is not to be missed. The Shack is an example of fiction giving us a new paradigm to consider.

  3. Excellent review Jorie!! I completely agree with everything you wrote. I really enjoyed reading The Shack because it really made me stop and think about a few things, such as forgiveness and judging others. Thanks for an excellent suggestion for our summer reading.

  4. Glad to hear you were impressed. I wrote a lengthy review on “The Shack” addressing the controversies.

    Bottom line- If the focus of your faith is a relationship with God The Shack will be wonderful. If your focus is on legalism, then The Shack will disappoint.

    I like the over all theme that takes God out o the box–Don’t worry about yesterday or fret over tomorrow. Enjoy God now. He has it all in control. Surrender and walk in joy.

    BLOG CONTEST: I’m giving away 3 copies of The Shack on my blog. Pop over and add your review to enter.

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