“The Shack”- William P. Young

It’s interesting. . .the process behind exactly how we pick out a book. Some are attracted to the cover, others read the description of the book and are captivated before they even open the book. Others go with the ebb and flow of popularity and/or recommendations. And then there are people like me, who are gifted a box of books to go through, take what looks interesting, and donate the rest. I’m not entirely sure what made me keep “The Shack”. To be honest, this book has been sitting on my shelf before it gained popularity. In fact, it was only recently my co-workers asked if I had read this book, and whether or not I was excited about the upcoming movie in March.

It’s actually fun when my co-workers recommend a book to me. I’d say 99% of them know I am a book blogger. I appreciate every recommendation they make, and I’d say about 99% of books they recommend go on my TBR list. Seeing as multiple people recommended “The Shack” and a few others were about to start reading it, I figured it would be a great one day read for me so I could FINALLY join in the conversation at work; and the conversation has been hushed since they all know I don’t like to know about books before I start reading them.

Prologues: do you love them or hate them? Do you read them or skip them? Since starting my blog here at Quitterstrip, I have tried to make a habit of reading maps, forwards, and prologues. . .they may (or may not) hold vital pieces of information that could take the reader deeper into the meaning of the book. So yes, I read the prologue, and I am happy that I did.

Mackenzie Allen Phillips had an experience of a lifetime. It’s one of those hard to believe moments that you can’t put into words- which is exactly why his friend (and author of the book) decided to write this book. After the prologue (which is mainly introductions, Mack’s history which includes the abuse he suffered as a child, how the story came about, why the author wrote it and not Mack) the book starts off with an ice storm, and the simple, menial task of trekking to the mailbox to retrieve the mail. What Mack finds in his mailbox shakes him to his core.


What comes across as (maybe) innocent to most, two out of three options dredge up nothing but evil from Mack’s past. Choosing to ignore and hide the problem from his family, Mack tucks his mysterious note in a tin on his desk. Memories come flooding back to Mack. Memories of his childhood, and his abusive, alcoholic father. Memories of the dreaded “shack” that changed his entire family’s dynamic in the last four years. However, in a world that doubts miracles, it takes a tragedy to jump start the belief in faith again.

I simply cannot give any more detail with this review, only so that I do not ruin it for the reader. “The Shack” is definitely the most thought provoking book I have read thus far. It makes you question. . .everything. Let me make this perfectly clear. . .you DO NOT have to be a Christian, or believe in faith to read this book. So, who exactly do I recommend this book to? Good people. Are you a good person? Then please read this book. Do you want to make a difference? Please, read this book.

Being a parent, this was a hard read. I cried. My mother calls me “hard-hearted Hannah”. . .no, my name is not Hannah, but for the most part, it takes a lot for me to cry. . .or feel normal emotion. . .so she says. This book made me sob. It just hits you right in the feels. And to some, it may take on a different meaning than it did for me, and THAT’S OKAY! Not all books touch our souls the same way, that’s what makes books amazing.

Per usual, I only request that you give the book a chance BEFORE you venture out to see the movie. Remember, most of the time the book came first. The movie is USUALLY just a brief synopsis crunched into an hour and half for your viewing pleasure. Taking the time to read it, and digest it, and think about it even after you finish it. . . that’s what a book does.


Do me a favor? If you HAVE read the book. . .tell me your thoughts in the comments! Go over to IG and leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you. ESPECIALLY after you see the movie too. . .because we all know that since I read the book, it’s an anticipated obligation to go see it in theaters.

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One comment

  1. If you enjoyed the book–you will love the movie. The movie addresses the ageless philosophical question, “Why does God let bad things happen?” It presents some theology in an unorthodox fashion–but not a heretical one. I found it more inspiring than Narnia–which I dearly love. The film follows the book closely, but not 100%. As a film and story it’s not perfect–but it’s very close. If you have an open mind, I suggest you see it.


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