The Shack: An Engaging Story that Should be Read

Ten days ago (+ or -) Mary (our Director of the Individual Tax Experience) recommended a book that she thought I would enjoy. The book was The Shack, by William P. Young.

The Shack is the story of a family that loses a daughter to a serial killer and the subsequent cloud of despair, anger, frustration, and depression that falls upon the family and especially the father. The story is phenomenally written and is so captivating that I essentially couldn’t put it down. Along with an engaging read about the trials and challenges of dealing with a child’s murder and subsequent carnage that follows, the author’s capabilities as a story teller are so strong that my emotions roared down my face like a class 6 rapid. There I was flying from JFK to SFO, in my comfortable upgraded seat, reading and crying and crying and reading as the father’s journey is unfolded and how an invitation from God to face the brutality and ultimate guilt for such a heinous act unfolds in my mind’s eye.

The Shack has touched a fire storm of conversations within my office, my friends, and my communities. The consequential discussions about faith, forgiveness, human failings, and human opportunities have been beyond scale. Acts of human companionship rarely felt in today’s politically correct and sterile environments.

The Shack isn’t without its critics however I feel that these critics may simply may have overlooked the genius of the conversations and narration. This book is about hope and understanding. About choices that are made. About love and freedom. About forgiveness and salvation.

Regardless of your personal feelings about faith, I feel this book is a must read. I haven’t stopped thinking about the messages and I will reread my copy as soon as it is returned to me by my friends and family that are awaiting their turn.

Although this isn’t core VeraSage material – the ethics lessons, the life lessons, and the conversations about the past, future, and present are ground zero for much of what we believe in.

Give it read if you haven’t read it, and then please let me know your thoughts.

If you have read, please engage in what I hope is an illuminating and thought provoking conversation.

All my best,



  1. Ted Waggoner says:


    I picked it up several months ago, and also started it on a flight to SF. Strong writing, good storytelling, and a powerful message wrapped up in a compelling drama.

  2. Ron Baker says:

    I read this book after Dan Morris told me how he cried for hours during a flight from New York to San Francisco. Even if I hated the book, it was sure to be powerful on some level. Well, Dan was right, it’s a powerful, well-written story. That’s not to say you’ll like everything in this book, especially if you’re theologically literate.

    You can read my entire review on my bookshelf at Shelfair, at:

    Overall, this is a splendid read as long as you keep in mind it’s a story, albeit one that deals with very profound topics. It will make you reflect on your own beliefs, never a negative thing to do. Enjoy, and thanks Dan.

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