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The Shack by William Paul Young - Book Review

The Shack will tear up your emotions while opening your heart to a deeper spirituality. The story can only have come from one who has experienced life from the deepest pit to the highest realm. Its underlying message rings true.

I had no idea what the book was about when my oldest daughter asked me if I'd read it. I said no. So I shouldn't have been surprised that she sent it to me for my birthday. We do like recommending books back and forth to each other and because I trust her judgement on what is worthwhile, I read The Shack first out of the stack I received as gifts.

To my readers who meditate, I can assure you that there is much in this book to reflect on in quiet meditation sessions. Some of my long-time spiritual questions were talked about in ways that made sense to me, and more-so, that opened some of the blockages to my emotions to unlock deeper heart feelings.

The setting is in Oregon and we get to know through description a bit about the climate and landscape of that state. I found I was able to picture myself there right along with the storyteller.

The text of the book had to be what I call inspired writing, because while sometimes difficult to accept it nevertheless sounded plausible and sat right with me. The profound images that were raised in my imagination gave me hope that heaven, indeed, is a glorious place and nothing to fear when the time is right for our journey from this earth.

The main character is really someone like all of us, busy fulfilling life's responsibilities and trying to cope as best he can with his share of bad experiences, sinking into a mire of grayness by the latest tragedy. The spiritual insight provided by direct communion with the 3 aspects of God in the Trinity is what teaches him the ways to again live in the profound joy of love in relationship.

The story is intricate but also full of memorable short lines. I think this a good book for a study group. The one warning I would add, and it is a big one, is that if you have young children you may find the murder in the book especially upsetting. But, most of us have suffered loss in some way and how this is worked through is worth the read.

Recommended for its spiritual insight, but not its story of cruelty to children.

Details: 256 pages; Windblown Media, first edition July 2007; 7.7 by 5 inches; ISBN13: 978-0964729230

Review by Susan Helene Kramer

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