I'll admit I went into reading this book with high expectations, but I really had little idea what the story was. The author, William Young, is able to draw you in from the beginning as you learn about the main character, Mack, and what has caused him so much pain in his life. I don't want to give away any of the book because I would encourage people to read it, but as the story progresses you follow Mack's journey to find peace and a new personal relationship with God, which happens in a very unique environment. Personally, I was captivated by Mack's experience and I couldn't put the book down because I wanted to see what would happen next, but I get like that when I read interesting books.
After finishing the book, I wanted to look up some background information about the characters and the author, and there's no shortage of info about this story! However, I was rather disappointed when I found out this story was fictional, because reading the Foreword made me believe it was a true story about the author's friend. My googling about the book also revealed a number of critics who have spoken out against The Shack and William Young because of scriptural issues they believe the story has and the inaccurate portrayal of God it represents. I won't get into those issues because I really don't know enough about either side to have an accurate opinion, but I do believe the book still provides an interesting perspective on many spiritual topics.
While this wasn't a book that has changed my way of looking at God or how I want to live my life, there were many times when I would finish reading a paragraph and I'd really stop and think about what the author was saying. The Shack provided many thought-provoking moments for me about expectations God has of me, free-will and how it works with God's plan for my life, the Holy Spirit, and a number of other things. I would recommend any book that gets people thinking about those things in their lives in a relevant way and how God wants to speak to them. And if you're turned off by all of those things, it's a pretty cool story anyway.
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