Thursday, January 05, 2012

REVIEW: The Shack by William P. Young

Title: The Shack
Author: William P. Young
Publisher: Windblown Media
Publication Date: May, 2007
Genre: Christian Fiction
Rating: 10/10

Description: Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his "Great Sadness," Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.

My Thoughts: I began reading this book quite reluctantly, to be honest. I am a Christian, but am not religious. Religion depresses me and I was reluctant to read this because I did not want to read something that would, I thought, rub my nose in the fact that I’m not living my life according to someone else’s idea or perception of how a good Christian should live. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

This story was simply amazing. I think we can all relate to Mack and the “Great Sadness” he is carrying. Though life is full of special and happy events, we all carry within us pain and sorrow from those times when we have been hurt or suffered great loss. Sometimes our pain is so great, we wrap it around ourselves so tightly that we cannot see beyond it. Sometimes we are so angry at what has happened to us that we blame God or others for our pain. We are Mack.

Mack receives a letter from “Papa” four years after his youngest daughter was abducted and likely murdered. His wife refers to God as Papa and I loved that reference. If we are to have a relationship with our Heavenly Father, then why not have one from the heart and make it personal? Calling God “Papa” made me smile and it opens the door for Mack. When he receives the letter, he is very skeptical and cynical about the sender of the note. His friend, Willie, even suggests that the note could be from Missy’s killer, trying to lure Mack there for evil purposes.

Mack goes to the shack both hoping and dreading that God will actually be there. What awaits him is truly amazing. This book made me laugh as the author shows us that God has a wonderful sense of humor. This book made me cry as the author gives us a front row seat into Mack’s heart and his pain, which in turn gave me a front row seat into my own. This book energized me as I read as it struck a chord with me how easy and simple it is to have a relationship with Papa, how I have been struggling in my life needlessly for so long and how liberating it felt to realize this.

This book isn’t about converting anyone to Christianity or trying to guilt you into going to church or rub your nose in what you may or may not be doing in your life. This book is about love, both God’s love for us, his children, and our love for Him and for each other. It amazes me that something so basic and simple comes so hard to us and is so difficult to embrace. After reading this book, it has gotten a lot easier for me to do it. I invite you to take the journey with me and experience the joy of love.

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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at Happy Reading! :o)