The Atonement Child - Praise
The Atonement Child explores the emotional and spiritual aspects of abortion through the fictional story of a young woman experiencing a crisis pregnancy. Author Francine Rivers drew on her own abortion experience and the stories of women she met at post-abortion support groups and crisis pregnancy centers while researching her subject. In a sense, The Atonement Child is their story. It mirrors the experiences of the many women who struggle daily with the trauma of past abortions… Rivers skillfully portrays how even the most committed pro-life Christians can sometimes fail to support a woman in a crisis pregnancy. Everyone around Dynah her thinks that abortion is the only solution to her situation. As the pressure to abort mounts, Dynah finds herself abandoned by the very people who are supposed to love her most. The Atonement Child deals with several complex issues: the question of evil, the pressures of a crisis pregnancy, abortion for the "hard cases," and the aftermath of abortion A major theme in the book is the effect that abortion has had on Dynah's family. Both her mother and grandmother have abortions in their pasts. Even years later, their abortions are still affecting their relationships. The Atonement Child is well written, presenting the truth about abortion in a compassionate, nonjudgmental way. Except for one chapter where the characters engage in a lengthy discussion about the fallout from abortion, Rivers successfully avoids the "preachy" tone which can otherwise intrude into the natural flow of a story. She simply presents her story and allows readers to draw the natural conclusions. Rivers says she wrote the novel not only for other women who struggle with the aftermath of abortion, but also for pro-life activists. She says she wanted "to help them to understand the sorrow [post-aborted] women feel every day and to have compassion" for them. She believes that thousands of women and men in our nation's churches grieve secretly over past abortions, afraid to share their feelings with others for fear of condemnation.
–The PostAbortion Review
Rivers tells a gripping story that will touch you to the core. Set in an upper-middle class conservative Christian climate, Dynah Carey’s picture perfect life is dramatically altered forever when the unthinkable happens! She is horrifically raped. Her future is immediately thrown into a spin. An unwanted pregnancy ensues and she needs to make a decision… should she keep or end the life within her? Her engagement to a promising young ‘minister-in-the-making’ is stretched to breaking point as are relationships within her own family. The reader is left wondering how on earth this story will unfold… wanting to read on. As with most of her novels, Rivers holds the audience captive, wooing the reader into the lives of the characters and skillfully turning your thoughts to the Lord at the same time. Christ is always central in her novels. In The Atonement Child she deals poignantly with the consequences of rape and the moral dilemma surrounding abortion. And, using other characters in the story, she candidly demonstrates the variety of possible responses to such a dilemma. Although not the best of her books, The Atonement Child is a stirring read, leaving the reader wanting to strengthen their personal relationship with God. It reminds us that life can throw many traumatic curve balls, yet as we put our trust in Him, He works all things together for good, bringing peace and direction to confusion and trauma.