No matter your faith, this book will have you thinking one way or another about life and another way to look at traditional religious stories.

This book was recommended to me by a friend who found it to be of great comfort to him during a very difficult period in his life. I read it because he was so passionate about the story and how it was written. So I got it and read it in a weekend. It’s not too long and easy-to-read, so it fit into the time I had available.

The Shack has had some controversy surrounding it because it takes traditional stories that man is used to and converts it into a creative writing type of depiction of God and the Trinity. People like to think of them as men, so when Mr. Young presents God as an African-American female and the Holy Spirit as an Asian woman, some called it heretical. I call it fascinating. Why not take something, anything, and look at it from a different perspective? Considering the main character’s painful childhood with an abusive father, it makes sense that he would experience his theophany as female figures.

The synopsis of the story is that Mack, the central character, is invited to a shack in the woods through an enigmatic note signed by “Papa”, the name Mack’s wife uses for God. The shack is where Mack’s youngest daughter, Missy, was kidnapped and murdered during a camping trip. This is where he meets and interacts with the Trinity and seeks to work through his anger towards God. After all, the death of a child, especially this brutal, is one of those times when people ask, “Where was God?”

Overall, I was absorbed in this book by the creativity and well-written story that didn’t drag on or end too quickly. Mack has such an emotional journey and still comes through to the other side because of his experience while in the shack. The story is a parable and not meant to be taken as a doctrine. Definitely an interesting read for anyone who looks to creativity in a controversial topic.

Rating: 4 stars

Reviewer: Jules

Title: The Shack

Author: William Paul Young

Release Date: July 1, 2007

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