The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts EternityThe Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity by Wm. Paul Young

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m not a particularly religious person, although I believe in something much greater than who we are. And I very much believe that when this life is over, I will be reunited with my loved ones. How can anyone not believe in this and remain sane on a day-to-day basis? The Shack was a powerful novel on many levels–for one, as a parent, the mere though of losing my child to the hands of a psychopath (let alone losing him at all) plunges me into a darkness I have no interest in exploring. Take this horrible concept and couple it with a father’s need (and right) to want to understand “why”, and you have a breathtaking story. I’m not giving The Shack three stars for the idea. I’m giving it three stars because the writing is just…bad. There were a handful of intense paragraphs I put a highlighter to, and I will return to them as I move through life. They were deep and meaningful and left me thinking, “Wow.” But much of this book was also a bit corny, and it was these moments I wish had been written differently as they could have been inspiring. All-in-all, however, I recommend this novel to every parent of small children because life is not always fair, and if any of us should ever have to face something this tragic and terrifying, there is redemption and light within the pages of The Shack.

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