!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> Emerging Women .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
Thursday, December 11, 2008
"The Shack"
The Shack
By William P. Young

The Shack is one of the most extraordinary books I've ever read. Creative, intriguing, gutsy and a thoroughly engaging read, this remarkable novel addresses the age-old question of why/how a loving God can allow suffering and evil to exist in this world.

Overwhelmed by "The Great Sadness" that threatens to engulf him with tsunami severity, Mackenzie "Mack" Allen Phillips receives a cryptic note in his mailbox one winter afternoon. There’s no return address. No postal mark. No signature. The typed note is signed "Papa" - the word his wife, Nan, uses for God. Unbelievably, the sender asks Mack to meet him at the shack - the site of an immense tragedy about four years prior.

Against his better judgment, Mack gingerly, reluctantly finds himself on the road to the wilderness area where his young daughter, Missy, was abducted during a family camping trip and subsequently murdered. What and Who he finds at the shack travels with Mack through his blistering rage, sorrow, confusion, disillusionment, and accusation as well as infinite amazement, forgiveness, grace, and finally, immeasurable joy and wonder - without the clichés and canned answers on either side of the equation.

Set in the Pacific Northwest, this intense, beautifully written story is “ghostwritten" by the author as “told by” Mack, whose unspeakable personal loss leads him on a Bunyanesque journey into eternity - and some startling surprises.

Refreshingly, The Shack isn't about churchianity, sitting in a pew on Sundays, skimming through a Scripture reading so you can mark it off your daily to do list, or textbook academia that’s as dry as the Atacama. It centers on relationships that are as bold and dazzling and mysterious as a brand new harvest moon. The imaginative portrayal of the Trinitarian God is especially delicious and exhilarating in this regard, and within biblical bounds.

Note: The Shack</ is a novel, as in fiction. It neither purports nor pretends to be a theological treatise. So if you’re of the grim, puritanical and myopic American Gothic persuasion, never mind. Dollars to donuts you won’t get it.

That said, I’d like to add that of the nearly 200 books I've read thus far this year, The Shack is among my top three titles. I read the whole thing (250+ pages) cover-to-cover in just over 24 hours. It's THAT good. As in, brilliant. If you don’t read anything else this year and you’re looking for something fresh, authentic and amazing, don’t miss The Shack.

Labels: , , , ,

posted by Euodia at 3:30 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 12/16/2008 08:05:00 PM, Blogger Mary Moss

    This was a breathtaking story! I found my entire concept of God was enlarged and enhanced.

    I couldn't put this book down. It is one that I was almost sorry to finish, because I didn't want it to be over.

  • At 12/18/2008 08:57:00 PM, Blogger Euodia

    I know what you mean... :)

  • At 12/19/2008 03:04:00 AM, Blogger AnneDroid

    I have just finished it and I also thought it was really good.

    Looking back I think many of the books that have influenced me most as a Christian have been of the allegorical variety (Hinds Feet On High Places, the Narnia books, etc). In spite of four years of theology at university I'm better with a story than a thesis!

    Hurray for the parables of Jesus!

  • At 2/17/2009 01:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous

    haven't read it.
    but can you say graven images?

  • At 10/26/2010 11:18:00 PM, Blogger tracysbooknook.com

    I have to say that "The Shack" by William P. Young was a very thought provoking read.

    After reading the book, I was left pondering several things about it – which is a true testament to the book's worth. I had several questions on the validity of some of the descriptions of God but I had to humbly admit that there may be no answers this side of heaven for how God presents Himself to each individual.

    I posted a more in-depth review of this book on my own blog www.tracysbooknook.com.