22 March 2012

Mrs Readalot Revisits The Shack

When Mrs Readalot first read The Shack three and a half years ago, it flipped her world on its head - at least that's what it felt like. Not many books do that.

The Shack is a bit controversial. Some people love it (like Mrs Readalot); some people hate it (without even reading it). Some Christian bookshops won't even stock it. Which is sad, because The Shack is the kind of book that really makes God real, and helps answer some of the really big questions.
Like "If God is a God of Love, why is there so much suffering in the world?"

The Shack is not a theology book, its a Novel.
A Novel filled with spiritual truth. It's been called by some, "The Pilgrims Progress of our Day."

Whatever you've heard about The Shack, Mrs Readalot respectfully encourages you to put aside your preconceptions and give it a try. This is a book that even non-readers can enjoy.

Mr G read it first; he gobbled it up in a few days. Mr G doesn't "do" novels. And he doesn't read books in a few days (he is Mr G - not Mr Readalot). But The Shack was different. He loved that book. It comforted him when his dad died suddenly of cancer and really helped him a lot. Mr G even went out and bought copies of it for everyone in his family for Christmas.

Young Miss Readalot - searching for the Real
It helped Mrs Readalot too, in lots of ways.

When you have grown up in church like Mrs Readalot did, sometimes its really hard to see God for who He is, because you've heard it all before.
It takes a lot to surprise you, to fire your imagination and capture your heart.
It takes something Real. Something Powerful. Something Unexpected.
That's what Mrs Readalot found in The Shack.

She found God in a whole fresh way; powerful truths that had been dulled down by tired old phrases became new and real again.

"God loves you" is a powerful truth, but if you've heard so many times, seen it on bumper stickers and billboards, it can really lose its edge.

But in The Shack, Mrs Readalot was quietly blown away by a simple little phrase that "Papa" said again and again... "I'm especially fond of that one..."

Papa. In the book God reveals himself to a grieving father in a surprising way. He gets around Mack's defensive walls by coming as a twinkly-eyed black woman.
(Plenty of critics and theologians would have heard that and wrote the book off as heretical right there.)

Mrs Readalot says:
I actually laughed when I read that part. Of course God would take someone by surprise. He never does what we expect him to. Look at the birth of Jesus - who would have thought he'd have his son born in a stable? Or Jesus' choice of disciples... fishermen, tax collectors and outcasts. He got a reputation of "associating with sinners". He didn't fit with the way the religious leaders expected a Messiah to be, so they missed him. But those "sinners" saw through his humble appearance and recognised him for who he was. He was constantly surprising people, and always loving, helping and forgiving those that others had written off. That's the kind of God I love and serve.

That's why God making himself look and sound like a black Southern mama (called "Papa") doesn't faze me. If that's what it takes to sneak inside someone's heart - someone who had been terribly hurt by their father -   then that's what my God would do.

This book sneaked into my heart the same way. It stripped away all my religious cliches and I saw the pure powerful beauty of God in a brand new way.

A few of my friends have been too scared to read this book because the main character, Mack, loses his little daughter when she is abducted and murdered on a camping trip - every mother's worst nightmare. I can totally understand why you would be reluctant to read a book about that. BUT, the tragic backdrop makes what comes next so much more powerful. In the face of the worst thing imaginable, can we find hope and peace? Yes, yes, yes. The book offers no cliches, no quick fixes. This book goes right to the heart of the matter as Mack asks God the hard questions; "How could you let this happen if you say you love her?" He is not an easy sell.

I won't tell you any more... except to say that as well as being a book full of spiritual treasure, it's also a great read with a very satisfying ending. But please... don't take my word for it. Read it for yourself.

When my Book Depository orders failed to eventuate in time to review our Book Club choices, I decided to re-read this life-changing book. I need to be reminded of the truth that God is "especially fond" of me.

Mrs Readalot gives The Shack ♥♥♥♥♥

{You can get The Shack from Book Depository for less than NZ $15; free delivery worldwide}


Mrs Readalot's Bloggy Bookclub

Don't forget, you can join in with our monthly Book Club any time. You don't have to be a signed up member to join in (but if you sign up you get to be a Book Club Linky host - bonus!)


All the details are kept up-to-date on my Book Club Page, including what's coming up next...

April Book Club will be hosted by Leonie Dons at Sunshine x3
Leonie has chosen has chosen The Birth House by Ami McKay.
The book sounds fantastic, a story about a Nova Scotia midwife. 
You can read other people's reviews of the book here on GoodReads 
You can get the book from Book Depository (free delivery anywhere in the world) for around NZ$17 if you can't find it at the library.

APMA12 Coupon Code / Book Depository

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Cat said...

I love this book
I had the privilege of meeting and seeing the author speak...the world needs more men like him!
to me, this book is written for the broken hearted
I like to call it the little book that could
the story behind it is amazing...maybe even more so than the book itself
I love that you have posted about it Simoney, even though it has brought us many a controversial opinion...for me controversy is good it stirs things up...I say bring it on!
God can handle it, i am sure : )

love and light

Unknown said...

oh i loved the shack! hard to get into at first but then can't put it down!

Gail said...

OK, I will try and read it this year. I didn't because everyone, EVERYONE kept going on about it. So I will try to remember to pick up a copy (once I'm through the 30-40, yes 30-40 books I have stacked up here!! Reading heaven!)
Book depository: free shipping world wide - except to China!!!

meg said...

i want to read this on my kindle - would you happen to know if its available as an ebook?

Sophie Slim said...

1) I've totally put The Birth House on hold at my local library

2) Ive thought about reading The Shack before but heard many conflicting reviews. This sold it to me. Just need to get those credit card details off the husb.

3) Thank you for introducing me to the book depository!! Free shipping, cheap prices. AWESOME. No wonder borders went broke!

Meghan Maloney Photography said...

Yep, I re-read it again too this summer and got the highlighter out this time and highlighted many many passages. I am doing some serious soul thinking about some of the amazing truths in it, and will be sharing over the next wee while.

It blew my mind all over again (in a good way) reading it again. It was JUST as good second time around!

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