My mum has raved about The Shack for years, but this enthusiasm has always come with the warning that it is a very graphic and emotionally tough read. After reading What's So Amazing About Grace in the summer, I was craving a fictional read that would challenge my faith and spirituality in a similar way and so I took the plunge and began reading The Shack. Only a couple of days in and this was my Facebook status:
Finally started reading The Shack (William P Young)...and now I won't be sleeping until I've finished it. Has someone already read it and can assure me that it somehow turns around after the harrowing beginning? 😳 Going to be an emotional, painful, challenging read...but hopefully a healing one too!?
I was met with encouragement from a handful of Facebook friends, whose love for the book I could sense in their comments. And so, I persevered.
Persevering with The Shack was a long and rather drawn-out process. Each chapter brought new challenges and emotions to the surface and I almost felt like I needed a break between reading them, particularly as I was celebrating my birthday and going back to uni so I didn't want any extra emotional upheaval during those times. However, once I picked up the book once more I steadily finished it within a week or so and by then I didn't want it to end.
I'm going to read The Shack again, as I now know what to expect and will hopefully be able to fully process the gut-wrenching curveballs and the monumental life-changing moments concealed in the pages. Maybe then I'll get back to you with a full review. For now, I'll just say that if you wrestle with questions of who God is, why the world can be such a painful place, and what on earth religion and spirituality might mean to you, then you have to read this book. I'll also give a warning that the first few chapters are nauseatingly difficult to read (you'll get a gentle gist from the blurb) but if you can persevere then I promise you it will be worth it.
If you want to chat to someone as you're reading this book, feel free to Tweet me, get in touch via Facebook, or send me an email.