Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Shack by Paul Young

At first I was a little skeptical as I started reading the book because of all the controversial talk and comments about it (I did my research before reading it). After I started it I was just hooked. It’s really well written, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I don’t really want to add to the comments out there that say the book is not biblical, because Young himself says this book is a metaphor about God and the journey understanding suffering. Therefore, I find it useless to consider it other than a novel. It was actually written initially for his children at his wife’s suggestion.

Like I said, it is a really good written novel, and I enjoyed it as that. I also loved the personification of Trinity, I guess what I loved about it was that it challenged me to think outside the box when thinking about my God. I mean, I came to analyze and diagnose my relationship with the Lord, the way that I perceive Him. And I actually love the fact that Young went so far with the personification of Trinity because it is a real challenge for the reader to analyze his/her own perception of God, which I believe it’s important for an authentic relationship.

As I mentioned earlier, before reading the book I did my research and I found a video of Young explaining a bit about what he wanted this book to be.

[read in August 2012]

Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin

Miss Ella was the only loving parental figure Tucker and Mutt ever knew. She was the help their father hired to get the boys out of his hands and make sure his business wasn't interrupted by him being a father. 
These two boys had a childhood of two extremes - on one hand there was Rex, their abusive father, whose only interests were making money and liquor. On the other hand there was Miss Ella, who compensated for everything Rex lacked in  – love.

Tucker and Mutt’s lives take unexpected turns as they grow up and become adults. And I love how the author manages to point out the struggles and the transformation process that takes place in both their lives. Miss Ella used to say to Tucker “I want to tell you a secret. Life is a battle, but you can't fight it with your fists. You got to fight it with your heart [...] If your knuckles are bloodier than your knees, then you're fighting the wrong battle.”

I really loved this novel. I may be biased by the fact that I haven’t realized how much I had missed a good novel until I actually started reading it. But what I enjoy the most in Martin’s novels is not the plot, even though he quite manages to keep it unpredictable, but the way he makes his characters seem like real people – I really felt like the struggles that the characters faced were real; the sense of reality that Martin manages to bring to his novels is what I admire the most.
One of my favorite quotes from this book was this one:
Miss Ella, will you always be in here?
Always, child. Me and God, we're not going anywhere [...] Child, you can whip it and beat it senseless, you can drag it through the streets and spit on it, you can even dangle it from a tree, drive spikes through it, and drain the last breath from it, but it the end, no matter what you do, and no matter how hard you try to kill it, love wins.