"The Atonement Child" by Francine Rivers is the story of Dynah Carey. She becomes pregnant as the result of a rape, and the novel shares her story of deciding whether to have an abortion or not, as well as the resulting consequences of the rape and pregnancy.
I loved that there is a novel that tackles such a hot-button issue. I felt it could have been a bit more balanced though. Putting the baby up for adoption was not really covered in the book--rather, the focus was on whether or not to have a abortion. Also, there wasn't a whole lot of closure regarding her rape. It's such a traumatic event, but we the readers weren't really given a lot of insight into her healing process from the rape.
Overall, a good read. I applaud Ms. Rivers for tackling the issue of abortion and presenting Dynah's story so well with how she wrestled with the issue herself (and not just Dynah, but several other characters as well have their own secrets and pain).
No one writes fiction like Francine Rivers. She really gets to the heart of the matter and challenges to reader to go deeper in the faith.
Abortion is such a tough issue and many have opinions that are black and white. Either it is wrong or it is a choice. Yet, when challenged, those on the side of pro-life will agree to the validity of an abortion when rape is involved. This book addresses this exact issue. Yet because Francine Rivers is such a good writer, she addresses this hotbed issue with gentleness, forgiveness, and grace.
What I enjoyed about this book is that it challenged what I believed. It is hard to stand on the side of pro-life without having compassion for women in tough circumstances. And what are we do with women who do have an abortion but have to live with the guilt and shame the rest of their lives? Are we to condemn them? Or are to to lavish compassion and grace on them? I am not sure what I would do, but this book has challenged me to look at this issue from a whole new perspective.
A touching story intertwining three generations of women, following the impact of choices made in difficult moments. The message is heartfelt and timely, and makes an honest effort at providing both sides of the pro-life/pro-choice issue. If you share the same bias as the author, the novel makes for a decently entertaining read. A more critical reader will perhaps find fault with the writing style and the intentional effort to pull heartstrings as a way to persuade thought. I'd recommend it to a friend, but only one who already shares my pro-life views. As persuasive literature, it falls just shy of hitting the mark.
The Atonement Child is one of the first books I read by Francine Rivers, and though it is fiction, it deals with two tough topics: rape and abortion. Rivers takes a tough, yet compassionate view on the issue of abortion and weaves a great story around it. In my opinion, this is the best book she wrote. Although I am a guy, I loved the book and was pulled into the story. I always considered myself very pro-life, but this book helped my pro-life views to be even stronger. Kudos to Francine Rivers for doing such job writing about these two issues.