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I reviewed THE SHACK here last year and recently discussed it with friends as several of us have been reading books about Heaven. HEAVEN IS FOR REAL; PROOF OF HEAVEN, and a few others. All of which I've loved. Now I plan to see the movies GOD IS NOT DEAD and NOAH. This should evoke even more spirited discussion about Heaven with the group. That said, here is the review from earlier. 
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.
Did you read any of the above books or see any of the movies? I'd like to hear your opinions.
I'd like to invite you to share your views of Heaven if you are willing. Or if there are books you'd recommend on the subject. Many thanks! And blessings to all!


  1. Barb, I read The Shack a few years ago, all the rage at the time. I really didn't get it. I wanted to get it, yep, I really did, but didn't. I finished the book with the feeling that I'd been on a journey that really didn't take me anywhere. I felt the book was too commercially written, a bit contrived, and used the ploys of grief and desperation to sell a book. Maybe, I'm being unfair to the people who read The Shack and simply loved it. It just wasn't for me. I had the same feeling about Lovely Bones, written a few years before The Shack. I just wasn't that into it, either.

    1. I know Sher. And to be honest I know we each have our own likes and dislikes. THE SHACK just seemed contrived to me but I applaud those who loved it and there are many.
      Thanks for stopping by! I love the conversations we have at our meetings. Really opens up our minds!

  2. I read the Shack and really liked it. I went to a gathering at Ashland University where Paul came and talked about why he wrote the book and it's an interesting story. (I even blogged about it back then). I understood the reason God appeared to him as a woman at the shack. The character had been severely abused by his Dad and had a hard time imagining a loving Heavenly Father..someone that his wife loved so much she refered to God as "Papa". He would relate better to a woman but later in the book God is portrayed as a man. You come to know the Trinity in a more personal way and how he came to accept them and their relationship with each other.. I think the book was really about love, coming to understand God's role in our lives and the world, and mostly forgiveness. It brought up some interesting points about judging people and about how God loves all his children equally...even the bad ones. I'll admit it's a different venue but for some reason I liked it. After listening to the author at AU, I didn't agree with all his philosophies of life but hearing about how he was abused as a child while his parents served as missionaries in Africa had me understanding why he wrote it. Sometimes a book just isn't for you and I've put a few down when I realized I really hated it or didn't "get it" and life's too short to waste on something we don't need in our lives. I hope the movies are good and you come back and give us a critique! Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Thanks Yaya. It's the discussion of these subjects that I love the most. Not so much whether we loved or disliked a work. WE're all more connected than we think and the more open we are at accepting the views of others the better rounded person we become. IF that makes any sense. Hugs. I will get back to everyone when I see the movies. There are so many good ones out now.

  3. I haven't read it but it sure does sound like something I need to start on. Hope you have a nice Easter. Hugs, xo

    1. Thanks Susie. Hope you are doing well. Happy Easter to you too.


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