Quicklet on The Shack

by Susan Bowman

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The Shack is a powerful story of the transformation of a bitter, grieving father into a man of God with a heart full of love and forgiveness. Told by Willie, the loyal, though skeptical, best friend of Mackenzie Allen Phillips, The Shack begins in the midst of Mack’s “Great Sadness,” which descended on him following the abduction and apparent murder of his six-year-old daughter Missy. Ravaged by grief and guilt, he lives with a darkness that threatens to consume him and his relationship with his wife Nan and their other five children.

Then, on an icy winter day, Mack receives a strange invitation to “Meet me at the shack this weekend. Love, Papa.” Trembling with both fear and anticipation, Mack goes back to the hated scene of his personal hell where, instead of his abusive father, he encounters God in the strangest forms he could have imagined.

An international best-seller; The Shack has sold over 14 million copies; has been translated into Spanish, German, and Croatian; and can be found in paperback, hardback, CD, Kindle, and Audible Audio.


From the Chapter 1 Summary:

After a moving and intriguing introduction by Mack’s good friend, the writer settles down to tell what happened in a straightforward manner with not a little “best-friend” skepticism and humor. The stories of Mack’s troubled childhood and the single worst event of his life converge as his friend narrates a tale that is every parent’s worst nightmare, with compassion and appropriate outrage.

Working from his home Mack sets out in his lounging clothes and slippers to get the mail from the ice-bound mail box on the street in front of his house. Not only does he find a perplexing and somewhat disturbing note in the mail box, he also endures the indignity and pain of falling on the ice and then awkwardly getting to his feet without losing any of his mail in the fallen sleet.

He makes it back to the warmth of his home, and there he reads the strange invitation that will change his life forever. Disturbed by the wording and where he is being invited, Mack almost discards the note but something compels him to keep it. Maybe it isn’t a mistake, but why would anyone write him such a note? It’s cruel and senseless. He doesn’t ever intend to go back there, and the author of the note, if he is the real author, is the last person he ever wants to see.

The story behind this bizarre note has to be told and the writer tells it, even though he’d rather forget it as much as Mack wishes it had never happened. But it did happen. It was on a vacation at a mountain lake that his family is ripped apart in the cruelest way possible. As Mack attempts to save his son, Josh, from drowning under an over-turned canoe, an evil presence continues its murderous pattern. Its newest target is sweet Missy, the joy of Mack's heart and the innocent victim of a terrible sickness that threatens to destroy them all in the “Great Sadness” that follows.

...To be continued!

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