the writings of Sue Berger

Review: "The Shack" by Paul Young

The Shack
© 2007 by William P. Young
Published by Windblown Media

At first glance, this book seems to have a familiar theme. Mack’s daughter is abducted during a family campout & evidence indicates she was brutally murdered in an abandoned, wilderness shack. Years later, her body never recovered & prompted by a mysterious note, the still grieving father returns to the shack for closure. The location of his worse nightmare turns into a God encounter that changes Mack’s world forever. The intent is to change ours too.

Hailed by some as the Pilgrim’s Progress for our generation, this book is a provocative read. From chapter 6 on, I was underlining & writing in the margins and am currently on my third read; not my normal behavior with fiction. Through Mack, Young asks hard questions of God & allows God’s nature, love & grace to be revealed in casual outdoor & dinner-table-type conversations.

There are many surprises contained in Mack’s journey. Each needs to be experienced by the reader. Be prepared to rethink many of your preconceptions of God. How God “appears” & interacts individually with us. How the triune God functions. How totally accepting God’s love is. The personal attention God pays to our mind & soul. Law & grace. Forgiveness & judgment. God’s involvement when horrible things happen. Subjects such as fear, submission, trust, reality, power, rights, freedom & expectations are openly discussed between Mack & God.

While not wanting to spoil your personal reading adventure, let me say that you will be changed by the experience. Personally I’ll never look at a starry sky, a dock on the edge of a lake, a wild tangled garden or shrubbery nodding in a breeze in quite the same way. And I can’t help but be profoundly encouraged in the face of tragedy.

God is near, God is real and God cares…deeply.

Note: This book will be available in bookstores September 1, 2007. Advance copies may be purchased from the author at

– Sue Berger

Note: Permission is granted to share my material as long as my by-line, email address & copyright date remain attached.

© 2007 One Pilgrim's Musings

About Sue

From a "normal" childhood with a working dad & stay-at-home mom, to a Bible-college and borderline-cult church; now in the midst of an almost-40-year marriage to my college sweetheart and currently a massage therapist, life is interesting! Through it all, God has been patient, faithful & gracious. I'm pleased to share my life's observations with you. Enjoy!