The Shack is not your average novel. It is a difficult book to review because I’ve never really read anything else like it.
The book starts off with the tragic story of a daughter’s kidnapping, but this is just the set-up for the real story. Police soon discover evidence that the little girl is dead.
Four year’s later, as the father is still dealing with his grief, he has a life-changing encounter with God – face to face. Much of this book takes the form of a dialogue between the protagonist (Mack) and God, in the persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There is a lot of theology in this book, and a lot about grace and forgiveness, but it is couched inside an entertaining story, that kept me turning the pages.
Portraying God as a character is not an easy task, but the author pulled it off well, giving each person of the trinity a unique and believable personality, and yet still portraying them as one God in complete unity. Putting words in God’s mouth is an even harder thing for an author, but again, the author pulled it off. I can well believe these words coming from the mouth of the God of the Bible.
This book is fiction, but it will challenge your perceptions of God and make you think deeply about your relationship with Him. I would recommend it as worthwhile reading for any Christian, but it would also be a great read for someone who does not identify with Christianity. It doesn’t come across as preachy, as you might expect from a book like this.