Book review: ‘The Shack’ |

Book review: ‘The Shack’

Special to the Daily
Summit County, CO
Special to the Daily

Have you lost a loved one and wondered why your prayers were not answered?

I lost my mother Aug. 4, 2001. We watched her suffer, at times in agonizing pain for 18 years. Why didn’t God hear our prayers? Why did he allow such terrible grief, pain and suffering? He seemed to answer the prayers of others yet somehow our voices were never heard. How could this be a loving, benevolent, powerful God? I have struggled with this for many years.

“The Shack” reopened these wounds, but also provided unexpected healing for my grief. I laughed, cried and craved to know more of God’s love once the book was finished. This book is fiction; it is based on scripture but you will find no reference to specific verses. It provides insight into how God relates to humanity in an impactful, relevant way.

In “The Shack,” Mackenzie Allen Philips is a loving father and husband. He takes his children on a camping trip in the Oregon wilderness, in an environment that parallels the beauty of our Summit County. During this trip, his youngest daughter, Missy, is abducted and never found. Evidence points to a gruesome death, yet they never recover her body. Mack retreats into his own angry world and questions God’s love and existence. He falls into a “Great Sadness,” unable to forgive himself and God for not protecting his child.

Four years later he receives a note from God. Needless to say, he is skeptical but he agrees to meet God at the shack, where Missy lost her life. What happens at the shack changes his life forever. He relives his nightmare but the teaching from God provides answers to mysteries we are unable to understand in the vacuum of human knowledge. This literary work transformed my own view of this world’s suffering, forgiveness and God’s ultimate love.

Author William Young brings God alive in the most transparent method. This book describes the heart of God in modern terms; it spoke to my soul, touched my emotions and opened my eyes to his mysteries with literary grace.

Our book club’s next discussion will be “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin on Thursday July 17 at 6:30 p.m. at D’Vine Wine in Silverthorne.

“The Shack” can be found at The Open Book, 60 W. Main St., next to the Blue Spruce in Frisco. Dorothy or Amy Yundt is available at the store (970-668-5399) or by e-mail at

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