Review: The Shack

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.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?” The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You’ll want everyone you know to read this book!

The Shack by Wm Paul Young

My thoughts:

I was recommended this book to read by my sister, being under the impression that she had read it too, only to find out when I was already half way through that she didn’t even finish it. There was a few times when I thought about giving up – when the narrative changed; become more deep; more “religious”. I persevered though as I really don’t like leaving a book unfinished. It came full circle and I wasn’t left hanging.

The initial part of the story where we are introduced to Mackenzie and the recollection of the family camping trip that resulted in the The Great Sadness was intriguing and I enjoyed this part of the book. The subsequent weekend spent at The Shack with God was incredibly heavy and deep and I felt drained when reading this, which is why it took me longer than I would have liked to finish the book. The descriptions of the beauty of the universe, nature, the unique lights and colours of souls was incredible and mesmerizing. The themes of grief, reconciliation, forgiveness, trust, judgement and redemption were a lot more difficult to get through. I kept having to re-read certain parts so that I felt that I “got it”; understood what was being related.

In conclusion: Although this book was heavy and at times difficult to read, I would recommend it to anyone with an open mind but it is definitely not for everyone. It’s food for thought; a different way of looking at things; at God – and deals with grief and forgiveness in a unique way. It offers a different perspective on relationship and rules.

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