One of the top books sold this Christmas has been “The Shack.” It has made such an impact on the literary world and has changed the lives of those who have read it. It certainly has changed the thinking of this avid reader. “The Shack” follows the story of a man who was deeply hurt by a dreadful loss. He questions faith and hope, and when he searches for answers he comes face to face with faith itself: God. There are things within Young’s book that makes the readers think and re-evaluate the things the believe and how they believe and deal with their pain and hurt.
Willian Young (he actually goes by Wm Paul Young) was raised among a stone-age tribe by his parents who like Ted Dekker’s parents, were missionaries. Young initially wrote the book for his wife and children. He published only fifteen copies for his friends and family who encouraged him to submit to publishers. When he couldn’t find a publisher who would publish it, he self published it in 2007. Word of mouth quickly spread and the book made the New York Times best seller list in April of 2008. Quickly “The Shack” make it to the top selling book in America in 2008. Young says that “The Shack” will tell readers more about him than we realize.
Many authors put a little aspect of themselves into their stories and “The Shack” is no different. He doesn’t see himself as an author, just a simple guy who wrote a book that the masses love. I think thinking that way helps keep him grounded in a faith that many people don’t have. In an interview with World Magazine Young stated “church doesn’t work for those who are hurt or damaged…If God is a loving God and there’s grace in this world and it doesn’t work for those of us who didn’t get dealt a very good hand in the deck, the why are we doing this?” That is a profound statement about life and faith.
Throughout life people hide their pain and anger in a “shack” the place that we all build to hide everything. We all have one. It is a matter of when we go back to that shack and deal with our pain and sufferings which is what “The Shack” is about. Young states that we cannot base our overcoming pains on facts and figures but on our own love and forgiveness of those involved in the pain and suffering. We focus more on the love and forgiveness instead of the pain they cause. Young has written songs, poetry, short stories or newsletters and other things, but they were always for his friends and family not for the public masses and the fame of “The Shack” seem to be a surprise to him.
So many people feel that this book have changed their lives, including myself. It has made me think differently about the world and how I view my own personal relationship with Christ. It also helps you look at your own relationships with the people around you and re-evaluate how you act and react. One wonders how much of himself Young put into his book. He acknowledges that he is partly Mack, but could everything Mack deals with be what Young faces? Could Nancy be his wife Kim? So many questions arise knowing Young put aspects of himself into the story, which ones are more him, and which are more the story.
If you haven’t read “The Shack” be sure to pick up a copy for yourself today and see how it changes your life. Wm. Paul Young’s fans eagerly wait another book from him, though many of us realize there may not be another book. William Young is a remarkable writer and hit the jackpot with his first novel. What more can we expect from him?