The Shack
by Wm. Paul Young
by James L. Rubart

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Wm. Paul Young's, The Shack, and agree with the review by Michael W. Smith, recording artist, who said, "The Shack is the most absorbing work of fiction I've read in many years. My wife and I laughed, cried, and repented of our own lack of faith along the way. The Shack will leave you craving for the presence of God." Even singer Wynonna Judd had this to say, "Reading The Shack during a very difficult transition in my life - this story has blown the door wide open to my soul." If you haven't read Young's book yet, it would definitely be worth your while for some good summer reading.

Looking for something else along the lines of The Shack by Wm. Paul Young, I came across a book by James L. Rubart called Rooms. In it the main character, Micah, inherits a house designed for him by his late uncle, Archie. It is through this house's rooms that Micah struggles with his past and searches deep into his soul. This familiar theme parallels the one in The Shack - one of discovery, hope, and transition. The major difference in the two books to me is that the characters are much more developed and intricate in The Shack, possibly because it connects personally to the author's real-life experiences. Rooms is lighter and whisks along rather quickly. In both books God is essential to the main characters. He is present to Micah more through a myriad of events and people he encounters, while God approaches Mac directly through His trinity - the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Shack can lead a book group on a spiritual discussion that never seems to end.

Rooms is also an excellent book for a book group because the novel raises so many interesting questions. For example, who is friend and who is foe? What is truth? Do we have to give it all up in order to serve God? The author also provides a list of discussion questions at the end of the book to help get the talking started. Definitely a journey for the spirit and the heart.

Reviewed by Barbara Ogden