Author William P Young originally wrote The Shack as a gift for his six children. The family had recently experienced a period during which his brother, mother-in-law, and niece died within a six month period, and this book was meant to help them understand and cope with unexpected loss from a faith persepective.
In it, a father grieving his murdered daughter, meets God in the form of a jolly African-American woman, Jesus as a Jewish workman, and the Holy Spirit as an Asian Woman. The author eventually gave 15 copies of the book to his friends, who all encouraged him to publish it. However, unable to find a publisher, he formed Windblown Media, expressly to publish the book.
Now over one million copies have been sold, and it even debuted at # 1 on the New York Times trade paperback bestseller list.
This is an unusual book, but it has all the elements of suspense, interest and a novel ending to keep you reading until the last page.