In an attempt not to "throw the baby out with the bath water...."
I don't think I would want to give this book to someone who was not grounded in their view of the Bible's perspective of the Trinity as I believe the book's explanation of it is flawed, but there's much to gain from this book. There are truths....truths about man's state and man's rationalizations concerning the lust for control rather than trusting God with our lives. Mack, the main character of the book is separated from God, but it is not God who has done the separating. I like the fact it shows us (believers) that in the midst of any pain we should not run away from God, but we should run TO Him. I like that it teaches God is really on our side because of the reconciliation we find in Jesus we are no longer enemies with God. I like this story because it shows how we are unable to actually forgive or do much of anything we are suppose to do without the help of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, I see flaws....several...mostly in the relationship of the three persons of the trinity with each other.....I just don't think a lot of the statements about how they relate are right ....but that is a mystery none of us really understand. The story of Mack, his journey through his pain and the Lord's ability to facilitate his emotional and spiritual healing is quite compelling. I felt there was some animosity against the church, but some of the indictments do have grounds. Regardless, I didn't like what Jesus and God (Characters in this book.) had to say about the church. The author's bias is evident here. There is more I didn't care for, but like I said I tended to focus more the transformation of Mack who is set free from "the great sadness" that has been present in his life for a very long time. I believe the Lord is the antidote for pain and He really does want to set us free so He is able to use us to show His love to others. Mack went to the shack fragmented....stuck in neutral and unable to be effective and came home whole giving love to others. His transformation had to do with him having a revelation of God's love, forgiveness, and the ability this has to empower Mack to do His will. I think there is merit in that message as it is the central message of the New Testament. Also, it is allegorical. Because of this book I don't see God as an African woman any more than I see God as the Lion found in C.S. Lewis's Narnia series.