Book Review: The Shack

We all have bad things happen, right? You lose your phone, your computer or even the flash drive that holds your favorite movie, right?

What if you lost your child? Devastating. I know people who have lost children to miscarriage, still birth, or even SIDS. It’s all horrible. I don’t blame parents who grieve every year, and every day.

That’s kind of what this book is about. This dad, Mack, loses his child in an unimaginable way. A serial murderer kidnaps his child. As often as we hear about parents losing children, losing one this way is so rare. He spends a month working with the police hunting for her. Not only do the cops never find her, they never even find her body. So this poor dad never gets any closure. That has to be the awfulest thing. I can’t imagine losing a child, but most parents at least get a chance to say good-bye.

The one thing that makes me the saddest about this book, is that this dad allows his grief to pull him from the one person who could help make his grief bearable: God. He quits going to church, even though he didn’t go every week anyway, and quits praying. His wife, on the other hand, never quit. She kept praying, kept going to church and kept God in her life. This allowed her to maybe not really move on, because obviously she missed her daughter, but her faith in God allowed her to bear her grief, and help her other children with theirs.

About 3 and a half years later, Mack is lost in what he has come to call “The Great Sadness.” he continually asks himself “what if?” and can’t truly forgive himself for losing his child. He worries about his other children, but can’t figure out a way to help them, especially because he can’t really help himself.

One day, in winter, he is home alone and decides to brave the ice and snow to check the mail. In his mailbox, he sees a note. This note is signed “Papa” which is what Mack’s wife calls God. Mack decides that Nan is the one who wrote it, but can’t understand why She would bring up The Shack. That’s where the cops found his little girl’s dress, covered in her blood. Why would she want him to go back?

Gradually, after deciding not to ask his wife about it, Mack decides he will go. It can’t be God, even though that’s who signed the note. Maybe it’s the killer? Mack can finally get some vengeance, and some justice for his little girl. So he decides to go.

The Shack 2.jpg

This is where the book gets a little weird. I loved this part of it, because it gives such a visual representation of who God is. I guess I love weird. But when Mack shows up at the Shack for the weekend, the building has been transformed into a beautiful cabin. He goes inside and meets God the Father, God Jesus and God the Holy Spirit. The trinity itself, taking a weekend to help one man with his problems. This part of the book probably isn’t very scriptural, because in the book God the Father is a woman. Luckily for those of us who are used to referring to God as a male, She explains why she’s portraying herself as a woman. So don’t let that part turn you away from the book.

All in all, this book is pretty amazing. A friend bought me my copy and I’ve read it several times. Whenever you’re feeling lost, just know God hasn’t turned his back on you. Who knows? He may show up at your house as an older black woman (kind of like the woman from The Stand), and help you with your problems. Sounds kind of cool to me 🙂

Have you read this book? What did you think? Leave me a comment below, and don’t forget to share this post with your friends!! You can also buy the book here.

Until Next Time,


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4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Shack

  1. Gin says:

    Hi Pamela! This is one of my favorite books! I’m so glad you reviewed it. I too hope that people won’t get thrown off by the turn that the book takes where God is a woman. Also there are a few other things that go on in the book that some people may not understand or see as very spiritual, or better yet may not think of God in that light. But don’t let those things deter you from the book because it’s a wonderful book that really is worth reading. Ehat you said right here just about sums it up and I totally agree-“The one thing that makes me the saddest about this book, is that this dad allows his grief to pull him from the one person who could help make his grief bearable: God”. Well said and great review!


    • Pamela says:

      Thank you! I bought this book for my nephew and he had a small problem with the book because he didn’t think it was scriptural. My thought is, It isn’t really meant to be, but it’s meant to send someone searching. So in that respect, it’s a smashing success!


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