Mack, played by Sam Worthington, is struggling with guilt, thinking it was his fault that his daughter Missy, played by Amelie Eve, was abducted and brutally murdered by a serial killer.

While shoveling the snow he finds a letter in the mailbox; no stamp, no footprints in the snow from the deliverer.

On the front: Mackenzie.

Inside: It’s been a while. I’ve missed you. I’ll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together. Papa

Mack is confused. Papa is the name his wife Nan, played by Radha Mitchell, uses for God. He goes to his neighbor Willie, played by Tim McGraw, to accuse him of leaving the note. Finding out that is wasn’t Willie, Mack begins to plan a trip back to the shack where Missy was killed.

It’s a cold snowy day when he gets to the shack, which is in shambles. He falls to the ground and breaks down, crying for his Missy. When he gets back up and starts walking to the truck, he encounters a man walking in the woods. The man invites Mack to follow him, saying that he is glad that Mack came.

As Mack follows the man he sees the sun ahead, the grass, flowers and trees blooming. Once at the shack he sees that it is a beautiful place.


Going inside he meets Papa, played by Octavia Spencer, the Holy Spirit Sarayu, played by Sumire Matsubara and realizes the man among them is Jesus, played by Aviv Alush.

The story goes on with the Holy Trinity helping Mack to deal with all of his feelings with the death of his daughter. He questions the evil in the world, the pain people suffer, and faith.

The Shack is a very moving story. It follows the book very closely. It’s long, but held me in its grip, making me look at my faith.

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Jann W. Martin—author, teacher, speaker and blogger— Her dream is to capture the hearts of children, by writing stories that teach them of the Bible through the eyes of a child. She has a B.A. in Early Elementary Education from Michigan State University (1972) and a retired Commissioned, Associate in Ministry from Trinity Lutheran Seminary (1999). She served as Youth Leader/Evangelism leader at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church for 5 years and as the Director of Family Ministry at Faith Community Presbyterian church for 4 years. Jann wrote curriculum for children and adults on several different topics. Her first published book, in 2007 is, “This Babe So Small,” the nativity told through the eyes of the innkeeper’s daughter and has sold over 2,000 copies. Just released, by Elk Lake Publishing, “Bible Characters Through the Ages, Book One Adam in the Garden and Meeting Eve.”