I saw the trailer to this book and decided I needed to read it. Just by seeing the trailer I hoped that the book would be just as good as it seemed the movie might be. My heart went out to Mack on so many levels. How many times does something bad happen to us and we blame God? I know I have done that. Though it seems that God has a purpose for everything. He gave us independence to make the choices we make and with that will come heartache, mistakes, happiness, pain, love and so much more. It is what makes us human. Though God never has given up his love for us no matter what. He is there though thick and thin, through trails and tribulations, through our heartache and blessings. This story is told through Willie Mack's friend. We learn what happened to make Mack fall into the Great Sadness and because of this Great Sadness Mack is dealing with a lot. Though he is not the only one though it may seem like it. When he gets a note delivered to him to go to the one place that has bad memories for him he is reluctant to go but he does. This trip to the shack is place where he will find himself closer to God and learn a very important lesson. He learns of God's love, forgiveness, and why God does what he does. At times I felt like Mack on trying to understand God and how he or she works. Then it would click for me. I didn't feel that religion was being forced down my throat so that was a plus, just a simple book of a father, husband, friend, person trying to find a way to heal after the tragedy of losing his daughter. A few quotes that I loved. "Love that is forced is no love at all." "There is something joyful about storms that interrupt routine. Snow or freezing rain suddenly releases you from expectations, performance, demands, and the tyranny of appointments and schedules." "He was a rich man, he thought to himself, in all the ways that mattered."
(Read the Audio & Physical copy. I think I did more listening than reading!) :)
Glad I was finally able to read and finish it. Many things I was able to see quite a bit differently..some things I remember not agreeing with, but hey, that's part of life..we may not agree with some things, even in fiction. :-)
Over all, I adored the story and Mack. I gave it 4.5/5 because I did get bored at some points. I think if some of it had to do with me and others, where the book just wasn't grabbing me.
I just enjoyed the life, love and forgiveness lessons..that was the best to me.
It is difficult for me to talk about this book without giving too much a way, namely because at the end of the book, in his post script, the author has requested that we do not give too much away so that people will be inclined to read this book themselves, and this is something that I an inclined to do. This book is quite a good, and well written, book, and is one of those rare modern books that I would dare call a work of literature.
What is amazing about this book is that on a very small marketing budget it hit the New York Times best seller list (at number 1) and has over 7 million in print (so the book itself says) however the writer appears to want his story to sell but not through any fine sounding advertisements. Further, he would like the story to be sold by word of mouth, by those who have read it, been challenged by it, and want others to be influenced by it as well. In fact, he actively encourages people to hand copies of this book out to friend (you'd think it was the Bible).
So, what about the book, what is it about? I'll give you some brief details, but as the author has requested, he would like most of the plot held back so that others can read it and consider the story themselves. The book is about a man named Mac and how he comes to terms with the murder of his child, and in fact, himself as a person and his relationship with others and with God. This is not a preachy, if you don't believe in God you go to hell, type of book, but rather it is about relationships, and in particular the most important relationship one can have: one with God.
Secondly the book is about God, but not about a pie in the sky I will reward you if you are good type of God, but rather a God who is not only real but loves us and wants a relationship with us. Throughout the book the author explores the nature and character of God indepth and how we work our relationship out with him. Further, he explores the triune nature of God and also tries to answer the tough question of why bad things happen to good people, and if God were good then why is there so much pain in the world.
There are a lot of these types of books out there, but most of them tend to be dry and academic, or simply non-Fiction accounts written in as simplistic and non-jargonistic way as possible. It is not so with 'The Shack'. While the contents of the book deal with questions that we all have, it is written in a free flowing and easy to read way that is drafted as a story of one man's life, and the struggles that he goes through to try to come to terms with the pain in his life.
However I will leave it at that because it is a book that is well worth reading and I do encourage you to read it yourselves and come to your own conclusions regarding it.