Atonement Child, The

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Francine Rivers's classic novel that breaks through the many taboos surrounding abortion. In one terrifying moment, Dynah Carey's perfect life is shattered by rape, her future irrevocably altered by an unwanted pregnancy, and her doting family torn apart. Her seemingly rock-solid faith is pushed to the limits as she faces the most momentous choice of her life--to embrace or to end the untimely life within her.

Customer Reviews:

  • cause all things will work for His good
    Have you ever read a book that when you weren't reading it consumed your thoughts - well maybe not "consumed" but you wished you could be reading it. That's the atonement child, and every other book I've read by Francine Rivers.
    Although the situation is one that I have been blessed to not have experienced, that did not take away from the lessons in this book. The joy and hope you feel while reading it. It shows just how Almighty God is, cause this book helped me through something I was going through in my own life, during that exact time.
    Rivers tackles a difficult subject in this book - abortion by itself is tough, but when a child is concieved as a result of rape - she stood up to the challange in this book! Every character in this book was developed well, you loved some, cried for others, and wished you could jump into the pages to knock some sense into others! I was taught patience in waiting on the Lord, cause all things will work for His good.
    It's an excellent read - it's about abortion, life, love, patience, peace, marriages, relationships, friendships... it'll apply to you!
    ...more info
  • I never though I would say this, however...
    ... this novel presents various aspects of the decision to have an abortion, or to not have an abortion, and the after-effects of that decision with delicacy and compassion. This is perhaps the first in-depth, abortion decison piece I have ever read that focuses a great, great, deal on the person carrying the child - the WOMAN! In one passage of the book, one life-long supporter of pro-life causes says she is withdrawing her support of the cause because too many focus on the baby and completely ignore the woman carrying the baby. *This is a key passage in this book, as it illustrates that this is not as much a book about the life of an unborn child, as it is about the hard choices and frightening life of a single-mother carrying a child.

    The only thing that made me squirm a bit (as a life-long believer that abortion should not be made completely illegal), is the suggestion in parts of the book that the pro-choice movement is a money-driven one, and abortion clinics exist mostly for capitalistic purposes.

    But regardless... If you are looking for a well-written novel that explores one single woman's choices regarding her unborn child, AND if you are able to keep an open mind, I highly suggest this book. It was entirely different than I thought it would be....more info
  • A real look at Abortion
    I have to say that I fell in love with this book. At first I thought that the characters were a bit shallow, but then I realized that this was not just a story about Dynah. It was more a story of sin being passed through the generations. River's took a multifaceted look at abortion, presenting the different reasons women turn to it. In all situations abortion seems to be the best and easiest way out, but the characters show that there are many lasting consequences that may not be apparent beforehand. I loved this story, and highly reccomend it....more info
  • Hopelessly Unrealistic---One of the Worst Books I've Read
    If you intend to read this book, you may not want to read my review, as it gives away most of the story line. That being said, I must respectfully state that this was one of the most unrealistic books I have ever read. The story line was tailored to further the cause of the author's obvious anti-abortion stance in such a way that it actually weakens the argument. Now, I am not in favor of abortion, but it just seems a little far fetched that a young virgin woman is raped, refuses a morning after pill to guard against potential pregnancy before it occurs,(I know, another point for debate),she gets thrown out of school, her 'loving' Christian fiance dumps her, his best friend moves right in to convince her to have the baby because, coincidentally, he just happened to have gotten a girl pregnant in his past and she had an abortion, which he regrets. So naturally he can't wait to become a father to this baby. (Of course, if he had become a father to his girlfriend's baby, he probably wouldn't have been able to get the college education that is now going to enable him to support and father this 'atonement child.') But the coincidences don't stop there, they seem to come crawling out of the woodwork. Let's see, the girl's mother had an abortion years ago, her grandmother also had one (because her own life was in grave danger)...several members of her church come forward to form an anonymous group of upstanding women whose lives are a shambles because they all have had abortions. When the girl runs away from home, she just happens to stop to eat at a diner where business is very slow, but they are desperate to hire a waitress, and throw in free meals--what luck! Then, of course, the ex-fiance's friend hunts her down, because after all, he has to alleviate his guilt over his loss by making sure she has this baby. I was looking forward to a thoughtful, realistic presentation of the heartbreaking problem a woman is faced with when, as a result of rape, she has to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy. Again, I want to state that I am not saying the author is wrong to be against abortion, but the story is just too pat--most women in this situation don't have a guy chomping at the bit just dying to marry her and be an instant father to a child conceived as a result of a violent assault, and the decision to have the child would undoubtedly have catastrophic effects on the woman's life, and her ability to support herself and her baby, regardless of how much she would love the child. The cost of health care and delivery alone would be devastating, not to mention working, child care, housing, etc., and raising a child in poverty is also heartbreaking, as would be giving the child up for adoption. This book makes it appear that there is an easy solution to such a problem when there simply isn't. The best persuasion acknowledges the opposing point of view and proceeds to refute it. The author fails to do this, and consequently fails to write a believable story.
    ...more info
  • One of the most moving books I've ever read
    I found this to be a very emotional and spiritual book.A friend had read it and suggested that I should too.Once I started reading it i couldnt put it down.I think it's an excellent book for any person, Christian or not. I would hightly recommend any of Francine Rivers' books....more info
  • A healing book - for all women
    Francine Rivers is my number one favorite author. However, this book was distinctly different. She hit on issues in society which allows for compromise. This book is sensitive yet definitely guides into Godly principles - even when all have compromised.

    What especially got my attention and drove me to my knees for all women was the closing note to all women. Not only is this a story for the ages, but the ending has a warriors prayer that should be printed up and hung on refrigerators throughout the world....more info

  • Excellent Read
    This book was so engrossing and if it was in my power I would pass it along to all teens. The rape of a Christian college student was horrendous, a girl who tried every day to live a life that would honor God. The ordeal she went through with her friends, boyfriend and even the college dean was enough to make anyone feel hopeless with nowhere to turn. This was a girl who had her head screwed on right and looked forward to a bright future, but when her parents did not respond with a positive attitude, she felt abandoned.

    This scenario could easily happen and the courage Dynah showed was very uplifting and inspiring. Those who are pro-choice are not likely to recommend "The Atonement Child" for obvious reasons but I gladly do. As you can gather, I am against abortion simply because common sense tells me that if I do anything to prevent the birth of a baby then I have killed a child. ...more info
  • a very long crisis pregnancy pamphlet
    Francine Rivers is by far one of my favorite Christian novelists. I have read her Mark of the Lion : A Voice in the Wind, An Echo in the Darkness, As Sure As the Dawn (Vol 1-3)series at least three times. It's phenomenal! And this summer I read, for the first time, Redeeming Love, an instant new favorite which I will likely read again and again. I didn't hesitate to buy The Atonement Child. She's a great author and I was confident I would like anything she wrote. I was wrong.

    This book centers on a young college student named Dynah. She's engaged to the campus hottie, who is studying to be a pastor. Life is wonderful until one night changes everything. On her way home from work, she is raped. She soon discovers she is pregnant as a result. The book twists and turns with the reactions of her friends and family members. What advice do they give? What decision will she make? Who will support her in that decision? Is an unborn life still valuable if it comes from such horrific beginnings? Can an abortion have lasting effects?

    I love the controversial topic of this book. The plot is fantastic, but the delivery leaves much to be desired. The dialog was trite. I often felt I was reading a very long crisis pregnancy pamphlet rather than a novel. Much of the book was predictable and several of the characters were poorly developed. Some seemed mere shadows rather than true characters with key parts in this story.

    Final Thoughts: Dissappointing. If you want more information on pro-life arguments, this is a good book to read. If you want to lose yourself in a novel, pick up one of her other books....more info
  • The Atonement Child Review By Monika Sharp
    The book The Atonement Child was a very good book. The book deals with many issues that some teenagers deal with. The book deals with rape, pregnacy, relationships, and abortion. The book was written very well and has a good story line. I would recommend this book to all ages, but mostly to teenagers. Over all the book is a very good....more info
  • another amazing work!!
    The first book I read by Francine Rivers was Redeeming Love and like everyone ~ couldn't put it down! I would have to say Atonement Child is much less intense of a read, however still equally as page turning!! I love that the author adds so many different unspoken thoughts of what is going on in the minds of the characters as far as talking with Jesus is concerned. I find all their thoughts are what mine would be, right down to questioning Gods existence, love and protection. I have not yet finished (will by 3rd day!), but I can see Gods hand in the whole picture! I am excited for the outcome of the story as well as my own relationship with Jesus!
    Thank you Francine for another powerful, convicting read!!
    ...more info
  • A real look at Christian ethics
    Francine Rivers takes the topic of rape and abortion to our doorsteps. It makes you stop and think about your true beliefs. There is a challenge in this book for the Christian community, if crisis hits close to home do we practice what we preach?...more info
  • Thought provoking
    Another fantastic book by Francine Rivers. This book makes you redefine your belief system on the controversial topic of abortion and why you believe as you do. This is one of the those books I will never forget and the impact it has on my spirituality....more info
  • book
    Great book; should be a must read for all young girls and the parents of children who are pregnant and not married. Gives a great message of how the road of christianity is not easy....more info
  • The Atonement Child
    This is an awesome book which shows the Power of God's forgiveness and love in the midst of pain. I could not put it down for three days. I laughed and cried. I think it could help a woman journey to her own place of understanding God's love and forgiveness no matter what has happend in her life and no matter what other people think....more info
  • Disappointing
    I am a huge fan of Francine Rivers', and this book really disappointed me. It was totally predictable and unrealistic. It's a sensitive, emotional topic and deserved a more real-world telling. I do think Rivers did a good job of presenting the issue, but I often had to force myself to keep reading. Rivers did continue her tradition of excellent character development, but again, I wanted a surprise, or maybe just a hint of suspense, to keep me reading. A surprisingly unsatisfying book for Rivers....more info
  • Belief vs. doubt
    I am not by any means religious and honestly don't like to read about religion, but this book gave me a different outlook on the aspect. I liked how it dealt with real issues like abortion. It showed that you can be extremely religious and still have doubts and human emotions. I like how the girl was persistent in following her heart. I didn't want to put it down. Great read for teenagers and up....more info
  • good with some minor annoyances
    I hated this book at first. The main character did not seem real to me at all, with her perfect life and perfect Christian boyfriend and all that. The first few pages kind of gave me a sick feeling, like I had eaten too much cotton candy. But I kept reading anyway and I'm very glad I did.

    As time went on Dynah became very real to me, as did her questioning God and her anger. I liked that the author was not afraid of getting angry at God or questioning Him. So many Christians are. I think that most of the "realness" of the situation was expressed through Dynah's pain and crying out to God for answers. There was no sugar-coating of human emotions in this book, and I liked that.

    The one thing I didn't like about this book was that adoption was not even *mentioned* as an option until the last part of the book. All through the novel we are given a black and white scenario: Dynah gets an abortion or haves the baby and ruins her life by trying to raise a child on her own. I just wanted to scream, "Hello?!? What about adoption!!!" It seemed too unlikely that no one in the story was considering that option.

    Something else I didn't like was that everyone seemed to have dealt with abortion at some point. It was unbelievable. I thought the mother's story was interesting and surprising, but after that you start hearing about the grandma's abortion, Joe and his girlfriend, the doctor, the lady at the clinic, the grandma's friends. Come on. Not everyone has had an abortion. I thought the book would have been great if it had just stuck to the fact that Hannah had had an abortion that was now ruining her marriage and making her doubt herself, leading her daughter down the same path. But it just wasn't necessary to the plot that everyone else had had one too at some point.

    Overall, I liked this book a lot. I read it straight through in two days. I highly recommend it. Some stuff is annoying, but the book as a whole is definitely worth reading....more info
  • Some Good in this Book
    There is some good in this book. I do like the way the facts that cancer is linked to abortion is set forth. I do not like abortion, because that is not the mother's business; that is the child's business. It is not the mother's own life that she is taking; it is somebody else's. What if it was you that was aborted? That would have been your business, not your mother's business. So I have to praise that part of the book. A baby is God's creation, whether it is a rape victim's baby or a baby from a happily married couple who deeply love each other. So who should dare touch God's creation.

    The part I didn't like, though, was Dynah's and her family's selfishness. Her family was full of pride, arrogance, and self-righteousness. They were supposedly Christians, but I did not see Christianity.

    I did not like the fact that Dynah asked a man to marry her, just so she wouldn't be a single parent. And if he was so good, and he was THE ONE for her, then he should have been the one doing the asking. This gives young girls the message that it is okay to ask a man to marry you. I teach my girls not to ask out a guy, much less ask him to marry you. I am all for women's rights, and I am not a pushover woman, and I feel a woman should use her abilities and intelligence. But at the same time, God did create Man and Woman differently, and they do have different roles. If they both had the same roles, then God would have only needed to create one sex. I want the man to chase after me, and I feel bad for any woman who chases a man and asks him out or asks him to marry her. I will never read anything else by this author again. Even male birds put on a little show to attract a female bird....more info
  • Wow!
    I just want to recommend this book to anyone who likes to read! I happen to see this book in our local book store and told my mother in law that I might like it for Christmas. She bought me the book...and I couldn't put it down! I read it in all of my spare moments. I couldn't wait to get out of bed so that I could keep reading. Well, I finished the book in three days...but had I had more time...would've loved to sit down and read it in one sitting. This is the first book I have read from Francine Rivers, and I am hooked. This book was so well written...I am online to order a few more! =) This is a must read! So touching! It leaves you in awe of the Almighty!...more info
  • Good Book
    I thought this was a good book. It was interesting and easy to read. It made you want to read on. However, Rivers doesn't always give an accurate representation of how abortion affects people or what abortion clinics are like or the people that work in them. She also makes a couple stereotypes in the book about pregnant teens. There is also stereotypes toward christian girls. That none of them sleep around or that they all come from great christian homes. I don't think this is always the case. I think Rivers is a very credible author. She is well known and has won many awards for her books. And particularly in this book she seems more credible because she has had an aboriton herself. I would recommend this book to woman of any age. Especially if your in the same situation. It really gives you a good christian perspective on things....more info
  • Powerful
    I was very touched reading this book... for the second time. I love that it shows that no one has to be a victim, that God can carry us through anything... that He is faithful, even when we are faithless - because He can not deny Himself. I became connected to the characters, I felt their emotions with them... I felt emotions against some. In other words, this writing really drew me in, it was written wonderfully.
    God's love is strong and powerful, and He is able to birth us all through the fire it we're willing. ...more info
  • Powerful
    This book is such a wonderful, powerful contribution to understanding the sanctity of God given life. It certainly shed some light on that topic for me, and I highly recommend this book to women who have faced abortion or feel that abortion is okay just because it's legal....more info
  • The best Rivers novel!
    If you haven't read this book, you are in for an outstanding read. I couldn't put this book down. Francine Rivers approach to the abortion issue is right on the money. I have passed this book to many of my friends and all have loved it and been changed by it....more info
  • A realistic book for today's generations.
    Francine Rivers has done it again! I picked up this book almost 4 years ago and finished it in one sitting! I reread it 2 weeks ago and got even more out of the story. The story primarily focuses on a young Christian women in college, who got raped when she was walking home from work. Her fiancee does not know how to relate to her anymore and she is feeling pressure from several sides to have an abortion... something she feels strongly against. The book goes through her walk and has a surprise ending. You will LOVE it!...more info
  • The Atonement Child is a must read
    The book the Atonement Child by: Francine Rivers is about choice, sacrifice and love. The book is about a young girl who gets raped and becomes pregnant. After she finds out she's pregnant her whole world falls apart. The book then is about her struggle to decide what to do with this child that's growing inside her. Her religion makes abortion to her seem completely wrong, but she doesn't think she will be able to give the baby up. All the people in her life a screaming for her to get an abortion when her whole life they've all been against it. The rest of the book is about Dynah's struggle to decide what to do. I really enjoyed this book, it was well written and made me think about things.
    With me myself being a Christian I could really relate to what Dynah was struggling with. I mean its really easy to say something until it actually hits home. The subject of abortion is a complicated subject , but I think Francine Rivers did an excellent job portraying what people put up to that decision go through. She also shows the long term affects an abortion can have on people, through the mom and grandma's abortions. She also so the affects it has on others, like Ethan, Joe and Dynah's father.
    After Dynah brakes off her engagement to Ethan, she moves home to her parents. She moves home because the dean kicks her out of school for being pregnant. She had not yet told her parents that she is pregnant or that she got raped. When she does return home and tell her parents it brings up stuff from there past, and causes problem between her parents. She learn that her mother had an abortion before she met her father. After this Dynah runs away, because she feels like things are her fault, and starts to work at a little diner. Until Joe comes and finds her and convinces her she must go back. On the way back Dynah stops at Dr. Wyatt, the doctor who was supposed to do her abortion. His wife and him take her in for a week until she must return home. In her week there she witnesses to the doctor and he decides to stop doing abortions. When she moves back home her parents begin to work on things and everything begins to look up. She decided to give the baby up for adoption, Joe helps her pick a family. Then she has the baby. Joe is there to help her with it all. After she has the baby she decides no to give it her daughter up for adoptions. After that Joe and Dynah decide to get married. So the point of the book kinda is listen to the lord and good things will come your way.
    This book did a excellent job of portraying what women go through when they have an unwanted pregnancy. She showed all different aspects of what people go through, form the women to her family to the doctors who do the abortions. The books main theme says that abortion is wrong. It also tells people that the need to listen to the lord or there heart. Although this book portrayed all aspects it was a little one sided towards anti-abortion, which I personally was ok with because I don't believe in abortion either....more info
  • Wonderful!
    It took me all of a day and a half to read this book. This book is so powerful and inspiring, you will immediately want to recommend it to any and everyone. Not only does this book send a powerful pro-life message, it also makes you realize how easy it can be to have an intimate relationship with God. The way Dynah continually spoke to our Father and listened to Him when she was seeking His guidance inspired me. I now find myself doing the same thing more and more often. In addition, you can see the many ways that God can and will work in our lives if we just allow Him....more info
  • She just doesn't let you down.
    Francine Rivers is a phenomenal writer. She has a way of intriguing her reader somehow by relating the character to the reader. I haven't figured out how she does it, but it's good. I went to a private christian univeristy, which is the setting of this book, and loved this book. I felt as though Rivers hit a lot of taboo subjects right on the head. I'm amazed at how she is able to express things that you don't think others notice in life but are a reality. This story is sweet and has a healthy dose of reality. It is not as heart gripping as "Redeeming Love", but it has its own taste that is still satisfying. I'd recommend it....more info
  • eye opener
    The Atonement Child is the story of Dynah, a typical college student. One day after work, Dynah's life is turned upside down when she is raped. Things only get worse when she finds out she is pregnant. She then begins to lose everything that she held dear. As her family is torn apart, she ponders over what she should do. Should she hold fast to her faith and what she believes, or should she have an abortion? Ultimately, it is up to Dynah to decide.
    Francine Rivers is an accomplished writer. She has written numerous titles and won many awards. After attending the University of Nevada, Rivers had a successful writing career in secular writing, but in 1986 after becoming a born-again Christian, Rivers wrote Redeeming Love, her most popular book. She has also received acclaim for her three-book series the Mark of the Lion. Her books range from historical fiction to children's books. Her most recent project is The Sons of Encouragement Series.
    Rivers always does an excellent job of developing her characters in her stories. The Atonement Child is no exception. She weaves the story in such away that the reader experiences almost every possible emotion as Dynah experiences hardships. It is very easy for the reader to be swept up into the story and even be reduced to tears many times. There is also a hint of suspense as readers anticipate what is going to happen next.
    This fictional account of a young girl's struggle through a crisis pregnancy stirs the emotions of every reader. It sheds light on a controversy that continues to plague American people and people all over the world today. It delves into the emotional and the spiritual aspects of abortion and takes the reader on an unforgettable journey. This book is not just another easy read. It will take readers to a place within themselves they have never known.
    ...more info
  • expecting more
    This book really disappointed me. I agree with the reader who said it seemed like every woman in the book had had an abortion. I also really didn't like Dynah all that much. She was a shallow character, and the whole time I read I kept thinking about how stupid she was for waiting so long to make her decision (like not getting the morning after pill) then waiting 6 months to see a doctor for prenatal care. Just because she didn't get the abortion doesn't mean she took care of her baby in her womb. It just seemed like I kept waiting for her to stand up for herself and she never did. She just remained frail and kept running away from everyone. Is that how Rivers wants women to be? Maybe I've just known people who have kept babies who thought they did it because it was the right thing and they cared for it. They didn't need to be self righteous about it like Dynah was....more info
  • One side of the issue
    Dynah is a young woman who is attending a Christian college when she is brutally raped. When she discovers that she is pregnant, she finds little support from her fiance, her family, or her college and she is pressured by many of them to have an abortion. There is no doubt where Francine Rivers stands on the subject of abortion. She is squarely against it and she uses everything in her writing arsenal to put across that point. Even while agreeing with her viewpoint, I feel that she has not done the topic justice in this book. The plot is very predictable from the very beginning and the characters are one-dimensional. It seems as if every woman in the book has had an abortion at one time or another and that is not realistic. There are several questions left unanswered at the end of the book. Who will take care of Dynah's grandmother? How much support will Dynah receive from her father? How will Joe finish his education? If you want to read better Francine Rivers books, I recommend her Women of the Bible series....more info
  • Is this about ABORTION or RAPE???
    This book seemed unrealistic to me. Dynah is violently raped by a stranger at night in the park and she never saw his face during the attack. She's not on any type of birth control and REFUSES to take any medication prescribed by the doctor to prevent pregnancy. Her so called "christian" parents demand her to have an abortion...especially the father. Her parents are continually arguing and screaming at each other and contemplate getting a divorce. Everyone Dynah knows has had some type of experience with abortion in their past. Dynah has a difficult time deciding the right decision..abortion or not.

    She was violently beaten and raped by a man she never saw. What woman would refuse to take the medication to prevent the pregnancy in the first place? Dynah's decision and the ending of the story seemed really unrealistic.

    Which is worse rape or abortion? This book condemned abortion and didn't speak much about the violent rape that occurred....more info
  • Mesmerizing!
    I recieved this book as a Christmas present because I'd seen it in a bookstore and it intrigued me, so I requested it.

    My family certainly regretted it! I ignored all of them Christmas day, becaue I was completely wrapped up in this story of Dynah and her brutal rape. The characters were fantastically believable, and the situation they find themselves in is incredibly real. Readers will find themselves indignantly scolding all the characters that betray Dynah. The pace never slows, and Francine Rivers grabs you and will not let you go.

    Dynah's inner conflict as she struggles with the decision of whether or not to abort her unexpected child is utterly palpable, and her face-to-face encounter with the Creator is spell-binding.

    You will not come out of this book unchanged. And if you happen to support abortion, I, as a born-again Christian, challenge you to read this book and still come out supporting it.

    This story is about the redemption only available through Christ, and it's a fascinating read. I recommend it to anyone who has ever sinned. (And that's everyone.) ...more info
  • A good idea, perhaps, but...
    My apologies for such a long review, but I want to make it clear why I have given it a low rating despite my personal convictions on the subject matter:

    The Atonement Child came strongly recommended to me by a friend who knows my pro-life views and assumed I would like the book because of them. I'm very sorry to say that she was wrong in this.

    Though I appreciated the lessons learned in this story, I felt like I was reading the script for a Lifetime movie. And a poor one at that. It often felt corny or outright unbelievable. The main character, a young woman pregnant as the result of a rape, runs into one woman after another who has had an abortion. She also encounters more insensitivity and controlling personalities than seems plausible. I felt that in a book set in the real world, my suspension of disbelief should not be quite so challenged.

    Another thing that bothered me was the omniscient view that the story was told from. Though I understand what Ms. Rivers was trying to accomplish, the way the point of view jumped from one character to the next was sometimes confusing and frustrating. Viewpoints would switch with no buffer at all (within the same paragraph at times), and we had to see into the minds of characters so minor that there seemed no valid reason for it. I feel that the story would have moved more smoothly if a few characters viewpoints had been focused on instead of slowing down progress with every little person's background.

    And finally, I think the book was very... predictable. I had the main plot guessed within 5 pages, the happy ending figured out before the first chapter was through, and the little secrets were so easy to decipher. More than once I thought towards the main character, with some frustration, "Really, Dynah? You don't GET what's going on yet??"

    I don't mean to be so down on the book. It did have it's positives. It was a story of redemption in many ways. Of things being set right. The last few pages made me smile, despite their silliness. I could feel that Francine was not trying to be judgmental towards women who have been through abortions. That she was trying to reach out to them and show them that they are not alone, while at the same time maybe giving hope to women who don't know what to do right now. And I appreciated all of these things. I suppose I just look for a little bit more to my literature than this book offered.

    As somebody else mentioned: If you are looking for viewpoints on abortion, this is a good place to look. If you're looking for excitement or a gripping read, this may not be it. Bottom line~ I'm glad I got through it, but I won't read it again....more info
  • A book of healling not just a band-aid.
    At the risk of sounding like a God freak [which I am] I must respond to some who think this book unrealistic. Though this may not be your reality it is the reality of many faceless, unnamed women [and men]. I shared this book with my sister who in presenting it to other members of her bible study group was amazed to find out how many other women shared similar experiences. In almost every instance they tried to put this experience behind them and through reading the book were able to finally share their experiences with others and address feelings that have been plaguing them for years. I view Ms. Rivers' book as a cry to girls who find themselves in similar situations. It helps them to realize the cruel reality of the circumstances that they find themselves in. That abortion is not the quick fix that it can sometimes be promoted as. It showed that one's life is forever changed by such a decision. It also shows that it takes the love that only God can give to help heal the heart of someone who has to endure such a painful experience. The book does not just promote anti-abortionism; it illuminates the fact that none of us are perfect and that we are all trying to make it and sometimes deal with decisions that we made when we were too young to understand the magnitude of what we were doing [whether that is abortion or something else]. Dinah's attack and rape was totally horrible but the hurt that her mother and grandmother harbored over the years was definitely a noose around their necks. It may seem that Dinah's rape was glossed over so that Ms. Rivers could stand on her anti-abortion soapbox but is this how she feels or is she showing how victims are really treated? Deal with the "problem" or get rid of the "problem" and move on with your life. It's not like getting the abortion was going to make Dinah forget what happened to her. Doesn't society too have its own guidelines as to when it is acceptable or unacceptable to abort a child: it's okay when you are raped but woe to the one who willingly engaged in the act. The books shows that the decision is not an easy one no matter the circumstances.

    What some of us may overlook in reading this book and noting all of the "coincidences" is that Dinah was most disappointed with her mother and grandmother because they tried to hide their pasts from her as she faced a decision they had already made in their own lives. In this world that we live in today we sometimes need someone who will be brave enough to expose their wounds and tell the true story to help someone else who is going through. Some look at other incidents in the book [such as the restaurant having a job opening right when Dinah needed work] as mere coincidences. I saw them as God showing His love for one of His children. Often times we complain about how the world has become and then when God sends us something or someone to show us just how much He loves us we are quick to mark it off as a coincidence instead of acknowledging that in this big, wide world there is someone who is willing to give us the conditional love that so many of us yearn for and never think we can receive.

    Thank you Ms. Rivers. You will never know how much the Atonement Child and Redeeming Love helped me to see that God can not only save but love a wretch like me.
    ...more info
  • Read if you are interested in a book torn between pro-life & pro-choice
    My friend had loaned me this book and I was excited to see the topic. I've always struggled with the pro-life stance when you look at it from the perspective of rape. The plot for this book is wonderful, but I felt that it missed something throughout the entire book. I kept thinking that the supporting characters were not believable. Every single person she came across seems to have a history with abortion and you get a new story from each of these characters. It was just too unbelievable for me. So, the story itself is was not strong, but it was interesting to see the side affects that women have after having an abortion. I had never thought about that before reading the book. Not sure if I'd recommend this one if you are looking for a good book to read. If you are interested in the pro-life and pro-choice debate, I would recommend Atonement Child....more info
  • She just doesn't let you down.
    Francine Rivers is a phenomenal writer. She has a way of intriguing her reader somehow by relating the character to the reader. I haven't figured out how she does it, but it's good. I went to a private christian univeristy, which is the setting of this book, and loved this book. I felt as though Rivers hit a lot of taboo subjects right on the head. I'm amazed at how she is able to express things that you don't think others notice in life but are a reality. This story is sweet and has a healthy dose of reality. It is not as heart gripping as "Redeeming Love", but it has its own taste that is still satisfying. I'd recommend it....more info
  • More preachy than enlightening
    This review is for those who are openminded enough to consider an opinion opposite to Rivers'. If you adore the book and are convinced Rivers is totally right and abortion is never justified even for the most desperate woman, I suggest you skip this.

    In this book, Dynah is a young woman who's brutally raped one night on her way home from work. The rape, however, is not the main focus of the book; her decision about whether to get an abortion once she finds out she's pregnant is. In fact, the rape itself, which I'm glad that many before me have pointed out, is pretty much brushed aside as soon as Dynah finds out she's pregnant. One of River's main faults was devoting the book too much to her own political views, which are clearly anti-abortion. In fact, she seems in such a hurry to get to the abortion issue, she doesn't even get some of her facts right; for instance, she gives Dynah a male doctor for the rape exam and describes the exam itself as really painful. If she had really researched this issue, she would have found that hospitals always provide female doctors and nurses for female rape victims and the exams are as painless as possible so the patients will not have flashbacks. To her credit, she does focus on many of the issues Dynah faces with friends, family, and a love interest after the rape, but she tries very hard to make abortion look utterly evil. I know many of you are thinking "this is bad?" and I can understand the opinion of Rivers and many others that abortion can be damaging to a woman; I just wish Rivers had made her tone a little different. Almost every character who supported abortion in the book was portrayed as hard-fisted and mean and I didn't appreciate this one-sided treatment. If you think abortion's bad, that's all fine and dandy, Ms. Rivers, but do you think you could try to be a little more understanding of people who don't? After the horrendous ordeal Dynah went through, could you truly blame her if she'd chosen not to have it? Try to imagine how it would feel to carry something a stranger placed inside you against your will. Whether you believe abortion's bad or not, you should at least respect what rape victims go through. It was wrong for people to pressure Dynah to have an abortion, but it would've been just as wrong to pressure her to keep the embryo and, honestly, I've seen anti-abortionists be just as harsh and forceful about their point of view as the pro-abortionists in this book were.

    Everyone who loves the book says that they're glad Dynah didn't succumb to pressure from those around her, but I can't help wondering if their reaction would've been different if the people pressuring her had been against abortion instead of for it. Would that have made it right for them to pressure her? Even if you think abortion's wrong, I think you should leave that to God and the woman to decide. Someone said that they couldn't imagine a person saying abortion was okay and calling themselves a Christian and I think this is an example of how grossly judgemental even Christians can get.

    I know many disagree with this and that my review may be attacked because of it, but this is how I feel. Rivers is a wonderful writer, but I didn't like her approach here; some say that she wrote this book without a judgemental tone, but her statement that women who get abortions "sacrifice children on altars of selfishness and fear" sounded pretty judgemental to me. If I wasn't Christian, this book would discourage me from seeking any Christian help if I went through what Dynah did. Some women couldn't bear having a baby after being raped, but this does not make them bad and I'm sure that God would not condemn them for it, nor can I magine how anyone could judge them so harshly. Rivers says at one point in the end of the book that she talked with women who suffered from abortion, but it was very clear that she never spoke to anyone who actually thought that abortion was the right choice for them; thus, she refused to acknowledge the possibility that abortion is not wrong for everyone. Women should be allowed to recover properly from rape, but a baby would make this considerably hard and a miraculous recovery and speedy happy ending like the one Dynah experienced as soon as she gave birth is very unlikely.

    Overall, I highly recommend "Redeeming Love" over this book. It's beautiful as well as far more open-minded....more info
  • Started off terrific...ended okay to bad
    The title was the first thing that grabbed me, and once I started reading, I couldn't stop. Although the story moved too fast for me to really get to know Dynah, I felt her pain, humiliation, and suffering and grieved for her prediciment. The well-meaning but insensitive remarks of those around her isolated her even more. Then with the pregnacy came Dynah's test of faith, her confusion and even more pain. All very real emotions for any real person in a similar situation.

    However, this terrific story is not without it's flaws. I felt the conflict between Dynah's parents was effective, but not very realistic. It seemed to bother Douglas more that his wife had slept with someone else (previous to their relationship) than it did that she'd had an abortion. I found it ironic that nearly every woman in the book had an abortion, and all of them suffered for it. The portrayal of the abortion clinic, with the ... administrator waiting to lure pregnant girls into her clinic and force them to have abortions, was unrealistic to me. Dynah was already a hard character to connect with. Even for a sheltered girl who grew up in the church, for a woman in her twenties, she seemed too childlike. Also was her absolute perfection, which made her seem unreal. Still, sympathy for her pain and struggle made me care about her and what happened to her.

    That was lost when Dynah became a prophet, delivering God's message to the doctor and hearing God's voice. Most people look for a sign from God--it's rare that anyone hears His voice telling them exactly what to do. How easy life would be for everyone if that happened, and how easy it was for Dynah. All her struggle, pain, insecurity, and confusion vanished and she suddenly knew what she had to do. At that point I knew where the story would end and felt no desire to even finish it. Dynah never seemed to suffer the aftereffects of the rape, she was so consumed by abortion issues, and I found that strange. Just like her mother and grandmother suffered for years to come about their abortions, a rape victim is usually severely traumatized by the brutal violence inflicted on them. It was almost like Dynah was never raped, she just got pregnant somehow.

    Those two topics--abortion and religion--are very sensitive topics and I applaud the author for approaching them. But I think she felt too strongly about this issue, and made her novel come off as somewhat preachy. Instead of dealing with Dynah's rape and resulting pregnacy and the difficulty she would have dealing with that, the book became a long anti-abortion campaign. I also didn't like the ending, where she and Joe plan to marry (which of course was coming all along) and live happily ever after. The baby's birth should have brought a whole new set of issues, or it would have for someone who was traumatized by a rape. But unrealistically, Dynah's rape becomes irrelevant.

    Other than the easy solutions and Dynah's unrealistic character, I enjoyed the book. It was well written and engaging, but it may lose your interest around the middle. .......more info

  • A great book.
    This book will change your life. It is probably the best book (besides the Bible) I have ever read. Read it and pass it along....more info
  • --
    Atonement Child
    By Francine Rivers
    Review by Roseanna White

    When I was about ten or eleven, I attended a youth lock-in at my church, during which we had an activity that forced us to choose sides on hot topics. There were corners of the room for strong agreement, mild agreement, mild disagreement, and strong disagreement. When a question was asked, each person had to go to a corner and then debate their stance. One of the proposed statements was "Women have the right to choose whether or not to abort an unborn child." This being a church function, one side of the room was unsurprisingly empty. But I, with my untested ideals, was surprised to see that not everyone strongly disagreed, some did it only mildly. The argument? "But if someone was raped. . ."

    It's a question that plagues our country, even into our churches. Everyone says that the answers are not simple, and Rivers tackles the issue with her usual insight and tenacity. It's so easy to love her main character, the sweet and faithful Dynah, that the reader's heart has to break when tragedy strikes her, even though we all know from the outset that it will, otherwise there would be no book. As Dynah struggles first with the fact of the attack itself, and then with the outcome of it, the true complication of the situation becomes so very apparent. Rivers points out through her uncomfortably real characters that the intellectual decisions we make when uninvolved don't always transfer so easily to something when it hits us in the face. She doesn't just open the question of whether or not abortion is wrong, ever or always or sometimes. She deals with the heartbreak of rape, the fragility of relationships, the blinders people put on in the face of trial, and the depression that haunts us in our lowest hours.

    The lack of support Dynah encounters in everyone from her fianc¨¦ to her school to her parents is gut-wrenching. She is fighting not only to make the right decision concerning the child she did nothing to find herself carrying, but to maintain the love of those who were supposed to give it unconditionally. She finds that world that is supposed to be unquestionably Christian unquestionably political; her college is so concerned with keeping up the appearance of virtue that they neglect its actuality. That forces the reader to take a step back and examine the institutions that many probably take for granted. And as usual, when we finally have to question our assumptions, we find faults that rip at our hearts.

    Nothing is easy for Dynah, and it isn't any easier on the reader. We're forced to understand the generational outcry both for and against this monumental decision, to learn the facts that horrify and yet still leave that gray area. We cheer for the one friend Dynah has who never wavers, never leaves, and we cry for the woman who is little more than a girl and can't find the right words to pray. She hears the voice of God in her heart, but the voices of those supposed to follow Him are so loud, and so contradictory that she questions her own spirit.

    I truly wanted to scream as time and again people chose convenience over righteousness in this book, mainly because I saw their points, saw the world in them, and knew that this was far more than a fictitious story. I had to open my eyes and realize that the issue wasn't as distant as I probably thought, wasn't as clear as my eleven-year-old-mind had once thought. . . and yet murky only because of our human failings, fears, and pain. Rivers looks at both sides of many different debates in this book, presenting them honestly and clearly. Her conclusions don't make the question hurt any less, but they guide the reader toward the most crucial epiphany of all: this Choice isn't just about an unborn child, it's about the women that have to live with it. It isn't a matter of saying yes or no to abortion, but yes or no to God. Whose voice do we listen to when the tempest is crashing? Do we pray for atonement for our sins, or do we step up and stop sinning?

    ...more info
  • Heart Warming
    Wow. I don't even know where to begin. This book was absolutely breathtaking. Francine Rivers took one of the most difficult topics and made it into a beatiful love story. Not just a love story between a man and a women and a mother and a child, but a love story about God's undying love and if we trust in him he will guide us every bit of the way.

    I am absolutely in love with this book. Even though this books has difficult issues you are able to feel the Dynah's inner peace amongst all the termoil. Everything this young girl goes through is unbelievable, but with God's love and guidance she is able to lead others to deal with their past and begin to heal....more info
  • Listen for God
    I simply love every book I've read by Francine Rivers. A message that stands out to me and is a prevalant theme in her stories is that we need to listen for God's answers. This is so hard to do since life is so rushed and we're all so impatient. I first read The Mark of the Lion series because it was given to me by a good Christian friend. I would start reading it, then put it down again. There's a lot of backgound information at the beginning that is very deep, especially if you haven't read much of the Bible. I'm guilty of not reading mine enough. These books, however, made me pick up my Bible and start reading again. If you haven't read this series, please do. Hadassah's story will change your outlook on life.
    I'm actually still reading The Atonement Child. I stayed up until 2 A.M. reading it last night and plan to finish it today. Ms. Rivers does a superb job of broaching this delicate subject. She also makes you feel like you are Dynah. As I struggle daily with waiting for God's answers, these books give me the assurance that God is there and He has a plan for us all. Perhaps the message in this book is that Dynah had to go through this trying experience to change the people around her and bring them back to God. Thank you, Francine Rivers, for your excellent work in Christian fiction! ...more info
  • READ- The Atonement Child
    I really enjoyed The Atonement Child. It made me question how strong my faith really was and how I would react if I ever got raped. This book gave me a new and clearer perspective on life, it also made me more aware of my surroundings. I now realize that even the streets near a church, school, or christian college aren't necessarily safe. I definitely think that my faith in God has become stronger since I read The Atonement Child.
    I think Francine Rivers is a great writer, and expressed her opinion on abortion very clearly. I really liked the way Rivers represented each of the characters, and the way their thoughts and feelings revealed a descriptive picture of their personality. I also really liked the way the book flowed, so that we knew what all the characters were thinking.
    I think Denah's faith became stronger after she got raped. Even though she doubted God at times she never let anyone make her decisions. I loved the book but I wish that Denah and Joe had realized their love for one and other earlier in the story. I also wish that Ethan hadn't been so self- centered. I think that everyone should read this book, no matter whether you're male or female, old or young I believe that there is a message for everybody.

    ...more info
  • not my favorite, but worthy of reading
    i love francine rivers. each of her books touch me in a special, sneaky way. after reading other reviews, i am compelled to say that i think the sensitivity of the issue kept people from giving a fair evaluation of her writing: if nothing else, ms. rivers is one of the most skillful writers i have ever read. her characters are anything but simple--the complexities are just more subtle than in less-talented writing. you have to think about them a bit more, and wonder about them. i didn't think ethan came out as a horrible human being at all--rivers has too much understanding of the human soul to portray him that way, and i sensed pain beneath his hardened (and annoying) attitude.

    i will have to agree and say the issue of rape was not treated realistically enough, which is why i docked a star. it just seemed to vanish after it happened, which i know is not the way it happens in real life. it's something a victim will struggle with for years afterward.

    in response to other reviews:
    1. for those of you who think ms. rivers doesn't know what she's talking about, consider in your evaluation the fact that she has herself had an abortion, before she became a christian (also remember this happened in adulthood, so she has more understanding of non-christians, pro-choice, etc than you give her credit for).
    2. for those who think it unusual that it seemed like all the women around dynah had an abortion, consider the idea that this was purposeful and for a point: there was a legacy of abortion in dynah's family, and her choice was how she would deal with it--break it or succumb to it. that was the point....more info
  • It did not Atone as a wonderful read
    This book was such a disappointment. I loved reading "Redeeming Love" by Mrs. Rivers; it was a very well written and a moving story. I thought I would love "Atonement Child" just as much, but it left me shaking my head. Dynah the heroine of the story was praying every second and it really seemed fake and boring. The whole story was not the way young college student's act or talk, even at Christian Colleges. I finished the story because I was sure it would become inspirational. Instead it left me shaking my head. The writing was very amateurish and not near the level Mrs. Rivers is capable of. Read "Redeeming Love" and miss "Atonement Child"....more info
  • A profound book, dealing with faith and a delicate issue.
    Francine Rivers knows how to weave a poignant story dealing with profound issues, that are resolved by resounding faith. This story deals with a young woman's journey after rape; and in fact, how everyone else around her deals with it as well. ...more info
  • Excellent book
    I read this book in Portuguese and couldn't put it down. I was thrilled to find out that it's actually an American book! It shows that ALL babies -- even those conceived out of rape -- have a right to life and that God forgives those who have HAD ABORTIONS and who have PERFORMED ABORTIONS. One thing that I've learned -- through this book, through working in the Crisis Pregnancy Center and through talking with people about the abortion issue is that we will never win the battle against abortion through legislation alone. We must first win over the hearts and minds of the people who see it as just another form of birth control or who don't consider an embryo or fetus as a human being. This book does a lot to begin that battle. Read it first, then have your pro-abortion friends read it and discuss it with them. Not only will it open their eyes to the Gospel, but it'll show them that not all "Right-to-Lifers" are militant clinic bombers....more info


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