The Shack is the story of a father who loses his youngest child to a suspected serial killer. The incident throws him into an emotional tailspin; a period of time he calls the Great Sadness. In the days that follow his marriage is frayed, his family is put under unbearable stress, and his relationship with God is tested.
The Main Body:
When Mackenzie Allen Phillips takes his three children on a camping trip to celebrate the end of summer, he never suspects that the vacation will end in tragedy. Missy, his youngest daughter, is stolen from the campground and Mack does all he can to help find her and the perpetrator of this evil act. Instead, he and some of the law enforcement officers find an abandoned shack deep in the wilderness that only has the remnants of Missy’s bloodstained dress.
The next few years are tortuous for Mack as he lives with the guilt and pain of his loss and tries to help his wife and surviving children cope with the tragedy. After four years of disillusionment with his faith and an increasingly strained family life, Mack receives an anonymous note that appears to come from God. It requests that he return to the same shack where Missy’s dress was found for a meeting with the Almighty.
Even though he is filled with doubts, Mack shows up at the cabin to discover that it is completely different from the way he remembers it. There are three people who meet him there… at least they look like people. However, the things they say and do are not human at all. Can these beings help him overcome his Great Sadness? Can they help him find a way to repair his shattered heart and wounded family?
Sticklers in the area of Christian theology will find plenty to criticize in this book. The author makes liberal use of his imagination in describing what it might be like if a person could come face to face with the members of the Trinity. Listeners who want an engaging allegory that attempts to come to grips with the presence of evil in the world, however, will have a hard time stopping the book until they reach the end of the tale.
Roger Mueller reads The Shack. It is sometimes a bit difficult to tell which character is speaking because he does not have the wide range of accents and voice qualities that some narrators have. All in all, though, the book kept me interested and involved from beginning to end.