The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers

Dynah Carey had her whole life ahead of her.  She grew up in a Christian home and was engaged to a wonderful Christian man.  It looked as though everything was going to be perfect for Dynah’s future.

Then one day while walking back to her college dorm room, she is ambushed by a stranger and raped.  Soon after she discovers she is pregnant.  Her fiance (it really bothers me that I have spent the last five minutes trying to find his name on-line, but maybe that’s because it’s not important…) struggled with the rape as Dynah was no longer the “pure” girl he had wanted… but the pregnancy took him over the edge and he quickly backs away.

Dynah is left dealing with the Bible school she attends and their rules of how she must go forward as well as needing to tell her parents what has happened.  Everyone has advice of what she should do, but Dynah has her own struggles going on as she questions why a God she loves and has served all her life would allow something like this to happen.

Francine Rivers is a long time Christian Fiction hero of mine.  I have always struggled with the “all too perfect” Christian fiction reads with the all to perfect characters and (even more annoying) the all too perfect ending.  Francine Rivers is not one of these authors. 

This book has been on my radar (and my book shelf) for years.  I have read most of what Rivers has written but for some reason never got around to this one.  Finally, looking for a smaller read – I reached for this and once again, Rivers made me proud.

The topic, a rape… in a Christian environment… is a difficult one.  Our protagonist is given much advice from those who are Christians, mostly… they think she should abort the baby and go on with her life.  After all, Dynah has a bright future ahead of her and she has done nothing wrong…

What Dynah decides is what makes this book a wonderful read.  I enjoyed the internal battles going on within the pages and I rooted for Dynah to stay strong. 

Many people have told me that The ATonement Child is their absolute favorite of Francine Rivers.  While I found it to be good, I still have to say that Redeeming Love (read pre-blogging) is my all time favorite of hers.  Both I would recommend. 

The Atonement Child was released in 1997.  After finishing it I felt it was left open enough to have a second book… I would be interested in the rest of this story.  Francine?  Care to bring back Dynah?

I listened to Atonement Child on audio from

16 thoughts on “The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers

  1. I agree with you about Francine Rivers’ books and this is my favorite of hers (Redeeming Love is my second favorite and then it is the Mark of the Lion series). Good review!

  2. I read this a long time ago before I started blogging and thought it was very well done. I have to say that Redeeming Love is one of my all time favorite books. I love how Francine’s book have an edge to them. Her books are ones I could easily read over and over again.

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