20 June 2010

Review: The Shack by William Paul Young

Set near Oregon in America, Mack's daughter Missy is abducted during a family camping trip, and evidence of her murder is later found in an abandoned shack in the woods (hence the title for this book). Years later, Mack finds a note in his letterbox, inviting him back out to the shack. Not knowing if the note is from Missy's killer or directly from God, he decides he must go and find out.

What happens next is a moving account of Mack's time spent with God in the form of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They each teach Mack lessons about the 'great sadness' he feels at the death of his daughter, and each lesson brings him closer to restoring his faith.

I found this book quite profound, and it certainly had an impact on me as I was reading it. Mack's story is told by his friend, who says at the beginning that he's just telling the story as Mack told it to him, and leaves it to the reader to decide whether it really happened or not, or was just a dream. I think this is an excellent tactic, as it means Young is not forcing this tale onto the reader and calling it fact. You can just allow yourself to fall into the story and decide for yourself later.

It reminded me of The Celestine Prophecy and The Alchemist and I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Shack. I believe the primary theme of the book is Love, as well as Faith. The popularity of the book has grown with a dedicated website www.theshackbook.com and has topped many best seller lists, including occupying the Number 1 spot on the New York Times best seller list for 70 weeks.

Regardless of your beliefs, I believe there is a personal, spiritual message in this book for everyone, and I think the enjoyment of this book will come from re-reading it and picking up more each time, as well as reflecting on the life lessons.

I recommend this book to anyone who has ever wondered about God and how He can allow so much pain in the world. Alternatively, anyone who would like a different perspective on suffering and self growth.

My rating = *****

Carpe Librum!

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