William P. Young
Windblown Media, Jul 2008, $24.95
Mackenzie Allen Philips married up when Nanette Samuelson said yes over three decades ago in Oregon. They had three boys and two girls. The two older boys have left the nest while Josh remains at home along with the older daughter Kat. The youngest child Missy was abducted four years ago during a family vacation; evidence found in an isolated shack led to the conclusion she was brutally murdered.
Since her death, Mack has lived in a fog state, The Great Sadness as he accuses that Great Interferer God for letting an innocent die. Now during a nasty ice storm while his wife and the two at home kids visit relatives in Washington State, Mack receives a strange letter in the family mail box not delivered by the post office. “Papa” asks him to meet him at THE SHACK. Although his entire essence says to ignore the missive, he heads towards the aptly named Hells Canyon National Recreation Area to confront this Papa and hopefully gain closure; Mack will learn more than he bargained for from Papa who vows to always wipe away the tears as more will occur over the years.
This is an interesting contemporary inspirational tale in which a still grieving father learns the truth about his late daughter and why bad things happen to the innocent. Mack confronts Papa asking him why while Papa responds without the philosophical babble of free will by saying his dead child will be in his heart for eternity. A fabulous twist enhances the plot as Mack learns he used the Great Sadness to repel his family when they need him most. Fans will appreciate this strong character driven tragedy as William Young provides a deep angst laden story line in which Mack and the audience understand God is there for us at our gravest moments when we feel most abandoned to help us through the dark into the light.