29 July 2007

A Book Review Not to Miss: The Shack

Well, I have never done this before but I devoured a book in one weekend – The Shack by William P. Young. I had a few rough spots on Friday when I had to ask those who recommended the book in the first place to help me know that it gets better - not the writing, just the painful story. I knew that the theme was the loss of a child, but I didn't know that I would feel that loss as my own, enough to provoke nightmares. It was a tangible pain not often encountered through literature. But it did get better, much better.

If you read my blog with semi-regularity, you likely know that I have been on a journey, orchestrated by God, away from all that is seemingly spiritual and familiar – routines, rituals, programs and institutions, and all that that implies. This book spoke directly to some of my biggest questions, addressed some of my biggest fears, and prepared me to live in relationship with Papa (God). The story follows Mackenzie Phillips, the main character through some of the darkest hours of his life and into an encounter with God that changes how he thinks about everything.

I tried describing the basis of this story to my husband without holding back for fear of spoiling the story because he doesn’t read (not can’t read – doesn’t) and I found that even without “watching my words” so to speak, you can’t adequately describe the experience of reading The Shack. It was profound, and gave me language for things that have as of yet gone unexpressed. In spite of this newly acquired language, there is so much to say that it is overwhelming. I am sure that reading this book has provoked many a post soon to come on this blog.

The Shack challenged so many of my ideas about Papa – it has shaken my world. It was as if Mr. Young climbed right inside my head and heard the very things I have been wrestling with. This was not a churchy book, quoting chapter and verse, and yet never veers from being explicitly accurate as to the character of a loving heavenly Father, a Papa, who IS love.

I seldom read a book that makes me cry through its pages. I typically don’t like works of fiction, preferring real stories, or books that are more conversational. This story drew me in and held me. I am also discouraged when I hear raving reviews, which is all that I have heard about this book, finding that the threshold of expectancy is so high, the book usually disappoints. I found The Shack lived up to every review, and then some. This is a book that I will re-read numerous times, allowing it to speak fresh to each season or situation in my life, as it will to each individual that dares to peruse its pages.

This book is brand new, and just started shipping. It is so new in fact that you cannot find it in bookstores or on Amazon. It must be ordered directly from the website. You can also read the Foreward and the first chapter, A Confluence of Paths there if you are a skeptic like me!

Be sure to let me know if you read it and post a link to any reviews you have written about it on your own blog, so we can share the journey!


  1. You made this book sound really good so I went to the website and read the foreward and chapter 1. But now I have to wait until I get the darn book to continue reading!! I can't wait to get it.

  2. Sounds intriguing- i might get one along with Kathleen- we can save on shipping hopefully.

  3. I just finished reading "The Shack" for the second time and plan to read it again and again. It will get down into your spirit. I can't recommend it highly enough. Get it! You have to see for yourself.

  4. I have not read it yet but I have a copy waiting at home for me after college classes are done for the day. Honestly I am shaking with anticipation of this book. It was recommended to me by a friend and my mom started it before I have. I was at my mom's house the other night and she was reading it and the look on her face was something that you cannot describe.
    I have never seen her look that way but and I add but she has made it a bit farther and is enjoying it incredibly. I am not overly religious but I do believe in God.
    Here is the kicker to this: Earlier this week I was with a friend who was pulled over by the police. He was arrested on a warrant of not appearing for court. I had my medication on me but not in the prescription bottle. They were going to arrest me on a narcotics arrest for my medication. Well they cut me loose and I walked to class but I narrowly missed and I mean narrowly missed jail. The police are very aggressive against the college students because they are a lot of us that are pretty wild.
    But I know that God wanted me to read this book. And that he kept me out of jail to read it. And I am sure that if you read it or are led to it you are meant for this book.
    I haven't read it yet but everything about it seems incredible.
    Sorry this is so long. Had to tell my story.


Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥