by: William P. Young
I learned about this book on Twitter, of all places. This is surprising mainly because of the amount of religious people I am surrounded with; I am surprised it was never recommended before.
I watched “Mskutcher” aka Demi Moore – talk about her journey through the book on Twitter, and it intrigued me to read it. On that note, I need to mention that anyone who has had a loss of someone close to them, and even specifically if they were murdered – this is going to be difficult however incredibly helpful and healing in the long run.
This book has 252 pages. Compared to other books I read, this is considered “short”. So I thought – cool, I will read this in 2-3 days easily. 3 weeks later, I am finally done with it. Did it take so long because it was boring? Was it drawn out? NO, the opposite, it was almost too much for me to handle at times. I had to take it in pieces and take breaks when things got “too real”. That’s how intense this book is.
The main character of the book is Mack. A man who has had a terrible loss and, like many of us, questions his faith and many things about his life, because of this loss. I find Mack’s feelings, thoughts and responses to be very typical to the every day person’s struggle. Never was there a question unanswered, that if I were in his position, I would want the answer to.
About 1/3 of the way through the book, I had a major red flag. The word Jesus, then the Trinity. I almost quit. Then I remember Demi (I love how that sounds like we chat regularly) talked about how she didn’t have a specific Faith she followed, but was spiritual, and that this book didn’t intrude on that.
So I kept going. It immediately took a different turn. Young has the amazing ability to keep you comfortable while talking about a usually taboo subject. His way of making your heart HURT for Mack and his family in one moment, shed tears over the horrifying circumstances of their loss and then laugh and smiles at the feelings of love and family Mack learns in the Shack.
Young touches on many Christian topics that you may or may not agree with, however its done in a way that its easily accepted and you find yourself caring more about the well being of the character, that you get the main idea being about growth rather than it being preachy.
Towards the end of the book I had to take a break. I couldn’t tell where it was all leading to, however I did know it was going to be hard for me to handle. I lost my only brother less than 2 years ago, very tragically and suddenly – so this book helped me deal with loss and my anger with God. I went into it thinking it would be a good read and it became much more than that. I wasn’t quite ready for what William Young had for me at the end of this journey.
After about a week, I couldn’t stand it, and had to find out how Mack’s spiritual journey ended. I knew it would be hard. I bawled. It was so real but at the same time, so Unreal. Do I believe this is a FACTUAL book? Do I think this really HAPPENED to someone? I realized at the end, that didn’t matter.
April 20st until May 2nd marks a religious holiday for me, The Festival of Ridvan. It commemorates the commencement of my Faith and signifies renewal, the birth of a new Light and the celebration of all things made new. This was a perfect time to finish this book, as it helped bring me out of the darkness of Winter. Spring and Ridvan has brought new growth, new maturity and new light.
Be firm in your Faith (or lack of) and don’t ever feel as though this book is trying to preach to you. If you are firm in your Faith or belief and see it as a story of a way to deal with a horrible adversity and a way to find God during a tragedy – it’s a wonderful 252 page read…
Rating: **** (better than the average thriller movie)To follow me on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MAbeo