The Shack by William P. Young has been much touted in the last few years. Some people love it. Others hate it.
As it was one of the books discussed recently at our writers meeting, and the group was clearly divided in their feelings about the book, I decided to read it.
I knew very little about the book when I opened it and I was hooked in the first few pages. It's about the disappearance from a camp ground of a beautiful little six year old girl named Missy.
The shack comes into play early on when the little girl's bloody dress is found in the shack in the woods.
Okay, we move along backward getting to know the characters in the story.
Then, Mack the father gets a letter from papa, which is what they call God. He's invited back to the shack in the woods by what he assumes is God.
He goes. It's winter and it's been snowing and is icy.
This is where he started to lose me.
The weather which he's having trouble walking in turns suddenly to spring or summer with beautiful flowers growing in the field and a gentle warm wind blowing. He starts to feel pretty good about now.
Then three people - the trinity represented - Father, Son, Holy Ghost (I'm assuming)
appear. A black woman, a man and another woman, Asian, I believe.
I quit reading at page 89, chapter six. I couldn't suspend my disbelief. And I tried.
I became disconnected from the story.
Mack is feeling really good, laughing and enjoying these people even though he can't quite figure them out. But then neither could I.
I closed the book.
What made me do that?
I loved the story up to that point.
I was rooting for the little girl.
I was looking for resolution.
I started to lose faith. For a bit I clung to the hope that the author would do something to get the story back on track. He didn't. Not for me anyway.
Now I'll never know how the story ends.
Did you read this book?
What did you think of it?
Did you love or hate the story? And why.
I know it's a Christian story. I got that. I'm a believer.
I also believe that an author can do anything he wants with a story. He can make God send letters. He can make God any color or nationality he wants.
Among all the many things he can do, the one thing he MUST do is keep a reader on track with his story.
I'm only one person. This author did not keep this reader in the story.
How about you? I look forward to all comments. I'm open minded and will appreciate hearing from you.