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'The Shack' by William P. Young

As a book heralded by many to be the Pilgrims Progress of recent years, Young's The Shack does not disappoint. While not allegorical, this novel still shows how God works in the lives of people. Not only does this novel serve as a reminder about how much God loves, it also seeks to adequately answer many theological questions people have about God, His will and His perceived absence in the world.

The book centers around Mack, a father of five who had his youngest daughter taken and murdered while on a camping trip. The police search for her and the only clues they find to her whereabouts come from her bloody dress found in a shack in the woods. We follow Mack three years after this horrible accident when, after receiving a cryptic note about meeting at the shack from someone calling themselves Papa, he decides to visit the place of his nightmares for answers. Once there, Mack is confronted by his past, his future and a God who wants to help him find peace in Him.

The use of a character such as Mack serves as a great benefit for readers. While many would expect only theological masters to be able to question God with any manner of success, Mack manages to ask God not only theological questions, but deeply emotional ones that many would feel guilty for even wondering. The Shack circles around the central question concerning God's allowance of evil, but also serves to answer many other hard questions concerning topics such as guilt, forgiveness and judgment.

The Shack is a wonderful book that seeks to answer hard questions. However, readers will not be disappointed by the story behind the questions, either. Mack is an intriguing character and his story will have readers eager to find answers.

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