Friday, April 3, 2009

The Shack by William Young

On a cold winter day when Mack Phillips goes out to retrieve his mail, he discovers a mysterious note from "Papa" telling Mack to meet him at the shack. Papa is his wife's nickname for God, and the shack is the place where the police discovered the bloody dress of his abducted daughter.

Suddenly all the feelings of The Great Sadness (how Mack refers to what happened to Missy) envelope him again, and he is brought back to that fateful camping trip when the Phillips' family was changed forever. Not sure if the note is a prank from the killer, Mack is perplexed on what to do, but he finally resolves that must return to the shack one more time.

What he finds at the shack is something he never anticipated - meeting God. Not surprisingly, God, is comprised of 3 individuals that represent the holy trinity of the father, son, and holy ghost. This time with God teaches Mack so much more than he ever would have learned in his religious studies.

Your reaction to this book will be contingent upon what you expected. The author clearly had an agenda and used Mack's story to get his point across. On one hand, I think Young does try to address a lot of our questions about God and makes it accessible by bringing it forward in a fictionalized manner.

On the other hand, I went into this hoping for an enlightening story and was disappointed to find that it centered on all this religious babble. I learned so much more about life and our place in it from The Last Lecture than I did from The Shack. If you are hardcore religious, then this book might be meaningful to you, but if you are looking for inspiration like me, I would go elsewhere.

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