Do not, I repeat, do not buy this book ("The Shack"). It could have been good--it could have been superb--but it's not. It is so horribly inaccurate in regard to the Word of God! (this is ALWAYS the most important thing). Please, please just read the Bible. The Bible is truth, the Bible has the best telling of true life forgiveness and redemption. Why unregenerate people (authors, movie directors, preachers, people in general) think they have to change the Word of God to make it appealing or attractive to others is beyond me--the truly redeemed will love it just as it is!
I buy this book from thrift stores for the sole purpose of burning it!
The Shack by Wm. Paul Young is a thought-provoking book. The author has interesting perspectives on life. A small group of 6-8 women gathered each week to discuss one chapter at a time. The first time I read it independently. Reading for group discussion was great.
The Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit are presented by the author in alternative personages. It is refreshing to consider different views. My reading group used Scripture to validate the author's points and to question our own preconceived notions. I would recommend this book for independent reading and for group discussion. It might be helpful to look into one of the study guides that are sold separately.
Like the author, I have known deep tragedy, and more than once. The picture of God that he portrays in this book is not in any way, shape, or form, the God of the Bible. I made myself finish the book even though it made me heartsick to do so. If the author's intent was to provide comfort in some way, he failed miserably.