The Shack

by

William P. Young

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Nan Phillips Character Analysis

Nan, Mack’s wife, is an oncology nurse who uses her strong sense of faith to help patients facing terminal illness. She has a uniquely personal relationship with God, calling him by the familiar name “Papa.” Like Mack, Nan was devastated by Missy’s death, and is concerned by how her daughter Kate has retreated in the wake of the tragedy.

Nan Phillips Quotes in The Shack

The The Shack quotes below are all either spoken by Nan Phillips or refer to Nan Phillips. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Independence from God Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Windblown Media edition of The Shack published in 2007.
Chapter 1 Quotes

“When we’re around family she seems to come out of her shell some, but then she disappears again. I just don’t know what to do. I’ve been praying and praying that Papa would help us find a way to reach her but”—she paused again—“it feels like he isn’t listening.”

Related Characters: Nan Phillips (speaker), Mackenzie Allen Phillips, Papa/Elousia, Kate
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:
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Nan Phillips Character Timeline in The Shack

The timeline below shows where the character Nan Phillips appears in The Shack. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Foreword
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
The Nature of God Theme Icon
...Phillips, goes by Allen, and is only called Mack by close friends and his wife, Nan(full context)
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
The Nature of God Theme Icon
...his twenties, when made peace with his mother and sisters, moved to Oregon, and married Nannette A. Samuelson. (full context)
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
...who is about to turn fifty-six, has settled down, raising five kids with his wife Nan. He is unremarkable looking and wouldn’t stand out in a crowd, though he is very... (full context)
Chapter 1: A Confluence of Paths
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
...the wound as best he can, feeling a throbbing pain and hoping that his wife Nan, a registered nurse, will be home soon. (full context)
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
The Nature of God Theme Icon
...asleep by the phone for a few hours before being awakened by a call from Nan. Nan is with their daughter Kate at her sister’s house, and says she’ll stay the... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Tipping Point
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
The Nature of God Theme Icon
...off playing and the Ducette parents have gone to bed, the Madisons ask Mack about Nan. He tells them about his beautiful wife and her work with terminal cancer patients, helping... (full context)
Chapter 4: The Great Sadness
Grief and Emotion Theme Icon
That evening, Nan arrives at the nearby hotel where the family is waiting and officers have set up... (full context)
Chapter 5: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Grief and Emotion Theme Icon
...it and decides to make plans to go to the shack the next weekend. Luckily, Nan decides to take the kids out to visit her family that weekend so that Kate... (full context)
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
Grief and Emotion Theme Icon
...not before convincing him to take a gun. Willie is worried that Mack lied to Nan—the couple never keeps secrets from each other, he says. As Mack leaves, Willie says that... (full context)
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
The Nature of God Theme Icon
...as Elousia, but she also says it might make sense to call her “Papa,” like Nan does. The man introduces himself, saying he enjoys working and fixing things. He has many... (full context)
Chapter 11: Here Come Da Judge
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
Grief and Emotion Theme Icon
...As he heads in that direction, Mack focuses on his memory of Missy, and misses Nan very much. (full context)
Chapter 13: A Meeting of Hearts
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
Mack says that he lied to Nan about coming to the shack because he didn’t want to hurt her, but Papa says... (full context)
Chapter 17: Choices of The Heart
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
The Nature of God Theme Icon
...wine and then Mack begins preparing to go home, knowing it is time to tell Nan everything. He changes into his old clothes. When he returns to the living room, the... (full context)
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
Mack begins the uneventful drive home, thinking about Nan. He feels at peace and strangely exhilarated. He wants to get home to Kate. Suddenly,... (full context)
Chapter 18: Outbound Ripples
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
When Nan returns, Mack is fully conscious and smiling. She says he was in an accident on... (full context)
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
Grief and Emotion Theme Icon
Nan agrees to find a time for Mack and her to talk to Kate alone, on... (full context)
The Nature of God Theme Icon
After about a month of healing, Mack and Nan call officer Tommy Dalton to set up a hike near the shack. Although he doesn’t... (full context)