Unfortunately, this was another book that I hated! I suffered through it, but it was awful. As I've mentioned, I am not very religious, and the book was all about God and religion. I thought I might be able to see past all of that, but I was wrong. I also thought that maybe I could appreciate this, even if I didn't have the same beliefs -- wrong again.
Basically, the main character, Mackenzie, has suffered a great loss. His daughter, Missy, was abducted while they were on a camping trip. One day, while Mackenzie is out at the mailbox (in a snowstorm) he gets a letter that tells him to go to "the shack". The letter is signed "Papa", and Mackenzie is confused, not only because "Papa" is the affectionate term that Mackenzie's wife uses for God, but also because he slipped on the ice and hit his head pretty hard. There is a ton of snow, and Mackenzie knows he won't be able to use his own car to get up to the shack. He borrows a friends car, and heads up to the shack.
The reader finds out at this point that the daughters blood was found in this shack, which isn't far from the campsite that the family was at when Missy was abducted. So, Mack heads to the shack in his friends truck. He gets there, and it is just as he remembered it -- a shack. He goes into the shack, and rests right where the dried blood from his daughter is. When he wakes up...everything is different.
Instead of it being a horrible, snowy, winter day, there are now flowers blooming, sun shining, and everything is just dandy. He realizes he isn't where he fell asleep (in the shack), he is outside of the shack, and there is a beautiful smell emanating from the kitchen. He heads in, and finds Papa (God) is a huge black lady. He is then introduced to Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. These three are all in human form, and have decided to help him. The story is extremely drawn out, but basically Mack is able to forgive himself, and others for things that have happened in the past. God shows him that the world is a place full of chaos, and teaches him a lot about himself.
On this "journey" God leads Mackenzie to his daughters body. He is able to have a somewhat peaceful and nice memorial service to her, and eventually the weekend is over. God has taught everything she thought necessary to Mackenzie, and sends him on his way. He is given the opportunity to either stay with them, or continue living his life. He chooses to go back home, but on the way home he is involved in a serious car accident. At this point, I'm thinking, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I just read all of this, and the dude can't even go home and tell his family what happened? I thought he had died instantly in the crash, but you find out that he is okay, but has to stay in the hospital for a while. I think what drove me the most crazy, was now that he had been involved in this accident, would anyone believe his story? Or would they all just chalk it up to some sort of concussion or something?
Whatever, needless to say, I got through the book, and wasn't impressed. I felt like the book was written poorly, and sloppily. I'm not saying I could do better, but I think William Young could have done a lot better. I guess for your first book, it wasn't awful -- but I don't see myself picking up another book by Young.
One out of five stars.