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The Atonement Child

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  35,175 ratings  ·  1,272 reviews
A beautiful repackaged edition of 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 momentou ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Tyndale House (first published January 1st 1997)
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Natalie Vellacott
I'm impressed that a popular Christian author would be bold enough to write about a subject like this. At the time that this book was published, she was already well-known and could have chosen to stick to less controversial topics to avoid offending the masses and losing her broad support base. The fact that she chose to write a novel tackling rape and abortion from a pro-life stance is admirable and demonstrates the prioritising of Christian values in her profession as a writer. One might assu ...more
Feb 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people that enjoy drinking poison, maybe
Warning: This book (and this review) discuss rape, pregnancy, and abortion.


I'm tempted to just leave it at that, but my frustration with this book deserves more than a one-word review.

To start, I can't really remember the decision-making process when I chose to read this. I know it fulfilled a category in a reading challenge I was casually participating in, but so would a thousand other books. Maybe I should have known better than to read a Christian novel about rape
Nov 04, 2012 added it
The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers follows the story of a young college girl who is raped and finds herself pregnant. Yes, it’s intense material and an intense read.

While she struggles with the decision of what to do and her faith, her family struggles and nearly falls apart in the process. This is a hard topic for anyone to discuss and while the novel itself is an excellent read (Rivers is by far one of my favorite authors), I was surprised to find out how close the issue was fo
Jan 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Since this book was a Christian novel about an unwanted pregnancy, one would also expect a strong anti-abortion message, but one also would expect a novel. Ms. Rivers delivers on the former, but not the latter. The novel was not without some good points and strong writing, but rather inconsistently. At times it appeared Ms. Rivers forgot about the quality of the novel altogether. Having read Sure As the Dawn I should have been prepared for the fact that Ms. Rivers is capable of churning out some ...more
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Francine Rivers did such a great job portraying the big issue of abortion in this book. The main character, Dinah, a godly young lady, who is serving the Lord has the unexpected happen to her. You know the "why do bad things happen to good people" ordeal? Her "perfect" life is shattered by rape and the consequences multiplied by an unwanted pregnancy which now brings the question, "What to do with this child?". Her life as she knows it is over, unless she does what everyone else seems to think s ...more
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a deep read! The premise of the book is rape and abortion, both horrifically nightmare inducing topics. If you have a weak system, do not read this book. If, however, you do find yourself desiring to place your feet into a rape victims' shoes, please put them on carefully. A very heart wrenching look into the REAL church culture surrounding abortion and the hypocrisy we tend to hide. Francine Rivers never fails to provoke intense reflection and a desire to live a better life. This book will ...more
Marnie  Krüger
Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine. Exodus 13:2
Atonement Child

First Sentence: It was on a cold January night when the unthinkable, unpardonable happened.

I think the first time I read this book I was to young to fully comprehend the emotional carnage that this book brings. I had to take breaclass="gr-hostedUserImg">
Samantha Tankersley
Sep 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
After reading several other books by Francine Rivers, I was highly disappointed by this novel. While most of her books have a clear evangelical message only bordering on "preachy," this one was blatant in its aims. I understand that her goal was to unpack abortion, and the regrets and ramifications it causes; however, this book felt like a con list for the procedure thinly veiled by a "story," rather than a well-written plot about a central issue.

While I enjoyed the main character and her love
Niki Petzoldt
Mar 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
It was seriously hard to read this book. I'm prolife, yes even in the instance of rape, and personally don't agree with birth control either. But seriously, this book wasn't a story, it was a prolife, anyone who thinks abortion is ok is an evil person, pamphlet. The woman who runs the abortion clinic? Well she's a crap parent with a drunk daughter who of course was on birth control.... And how many people in one story can have an abortion that ruinned their lives and gave them cancer???? Drivel. ...more
Dec 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
So terrible. I tried to give Rivers one last chance. Even though I already suffered through Redeeming Love, everyone said I should give this one a chance. I thought it was supposed to be a novel, but its actually pro-life propoganda, which wouldn't be so bad if you classified it as such. But it fails in every way possibly as prose.
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Excellent book! My first Francine Rivers & certainly not my last. This touched my heart in so many ways. I loved it.
Nov 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dana Cheryl
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
The story of a protected, adored virgin being brutally raped and dealing with a resulting pregnancy could not have been an easy story to write. The author did a good job of creating a believable Christian family in crises by allowing us inside their deepest thoughts thereby revealing weakness, doubt, fear, and anger woven with faith, redemption, and hope.

The Atonement Child was an interesting mixture of thoroughly developed characters undergoing intense trauma mixed with a few secondary players that
Aug 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In reality, I would have agreed that Dynah take the morning after pill in order not to get pregnant after she was raped. Even when she got pregnant, her boyfriend (trained to be a pastor) and all her Christian College dean and professors, parents and friends wanted her to have an abortion saying that God will understand. Dynah made the decision to listen instead to her heart and her heart said that killing the baby is not right. It also broke my heart to read that she was shunned by the College ...more
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
I appreciate that this book delves into the controversial moral and intimate subject of abortion. I'm glad that the author didn't make all the Christians "good guys" and the non-Christians "bad guys". I'm glad she shone a light on the hypocrisy that's rampant in Christianity.

But I just didn't like very much else about this book. The characters were pretty one-dimentional. The story was predictable. The dialogue was cheesy. The way everything resolved was too perfect. I've never read
Tasha enderby
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, book-club-books
This is a very hard book to read even for a believer. Well I should say it was hard for me personally to read this book with choices I have made in my own life. This book will have you angry, in tears and ashamed all at the same time. The story is redeeming in the end and of course it all works out as God has intended but you learn a lot about yourself, other believers and faith along the way. This book put a lot of focus on generational sin and how one grandmother's choice has tainted all the w ...more
Jasher Drake
May 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
I really don't like this. Every single character is so depressed and has tons of problems. From abortion to cancer to sex before marriage,it made me feel sad, and it's not even a good sadness. I have to say that I expected something a bit more uplifting from a christian author. :(
Tessa Hall
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a beautiful book ... the best one I've read in a long time.
Mar 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
I thought this book had an incredible story line and above average character development. I am staunchly pro-life and so completely appreciated the books position. I am however not too fond of fiction that has undertones. This book is just that. There is a lot of preachy sections and though I think all of it is true and worthwhile I don't think a novel is the place for it. I don't think that someone who is looking for or in need of encouragement to make a pro-life decision is going to look in a ...more
Michaela Matzke
Jun 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The young girl in this book starts out with everything a girl could want; a healthy, pure relationship with a guy, attending a Christian college, friends that love her, and a strong relationship with God. But all that changes as one night she is badly raped and ends up with a child. After many show resentment and anger towards her, she begins to feel doubts about living with the child inside her. With help from her family and a true friend, she must find the strength to follow the path that her ...more
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of the BEST books ever written about the abortion issue. Francine Rivers masterfully and sensitively examines the topic from just about every possible angle. Having been involved in the pro-life movement for decades, I have seen many sides of the abortion debate. I have read many books. This is the most outstanding. Buy it for teens, adults--anyone you care about. Whether staunch pro-lifers, "pro-choice," or undecided on the issue, ATONEMENT CHILD will give them plenty of food for thought. W ...more
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The atonement child
She was raped but the baby that now grows in her, he is innocent so what to do next?
Romina Bellusci
May 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love Francine's work, she's one of the best christian writers I know and my absolute favorite, why? Because you can see God's love, God's message in every single page of every book she wrote. Her writing flows beautifully, her dialogues are well written and keep you reading, plot, romance, love, forgiveness, God's wisdom is all wrapped up in her books. The Atonement Child was such a good book, it thought me so much, it really opened my eyes to the post abortion depression and made me see those ...more
Jill Lewis
May 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Wow! This book has been sitting by my bedside for probably a year. I only picked it up to read because I had nothing else. I figured it was going to be very preachy and full of religious righteousness. Well, it kind of was. While I do consider myself a religious person, I don't like to read things that preach to me. But the story was so, so, well told. I read it in a few days and had a hard time putting it down. I've never had any experience with abortion, nor known anyone personally who has, bu ...more
Jan 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Francine Rivers always give a great story based on God's character and men's depravity. This is a great example. With abortion such an issue even among Christians, I would encourage all Christians to read this. Her characters could be based on real people. I saw some that I knew personally. I think the one that gripped me the most was the doctor that was performing the abortions and the reasons why. I realize not all doctors have the same reason but I appreciated this part of the story the most. ...more
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
First review : read this novel when it first came out. However I plan to reread it soon. I don't remember specific facts.Definitely looking forward to rereading it. However, I remember the message was that no matter what sin you have committed, God's word He will make your sin that is a scarlet as white as snow. Also, personal forgiveness. Which many people overlook and that is a very vital important factor in healing after an abortion.

Second review : to follow after I finish reading
Joy Wright
Mar 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-novels
This book is AMAZING and well worth the read. It really speaks to God's mercy and the power of accepting his forgiveness. My only warning would be to any one that has been touched personally by abortion. I suggest reading the author's note in the back first before reading the book so that his/her mind and heart is guarded with God's promises before beginning what could be an emotional journey.
Jen | Jen Talks Audiobooks
3.5 stars rounded up. I liked it, but I didn't love it.

First off, this is a book about abortion and faith. It's not a romance - it's about people dealing with God. Questioning God, believing His promises amid extreme circumstances. There's a lot of scripture here, which is good. It's pretty much every day life for the Christian, pushing thru difficult problems. This story doesn't really answer the question of why bad things happen to good people. Rather, it highlights what happens to
Lisa at Farm Fresh Adventures
Amazing. Wow. This book makes you think deep. What are REALLY your beliefs on Abortion? Especially as a Christian. Every dialogue in the pro-life/pro-choice movement is in this book. Every single one. This book brought tears. It was like an onion. New layers of the plot kept being peeled back. It was such a read. I need something light after something that deep.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really giving this 4.5/5 stars,and only because the plot felt a little all over the place at times. Francine Rivers captivated my heart with yet another beautiful story that perfectly depicts the gospel. Would recommend to a friend.
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New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers continues to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her numerous bestsellers include Redeeming Love, A Voice in the Wind, and Bridge to Haven, and her work has been translated into more than thirty different languages. She is a member of Romance Writers of America's coveted Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the Lifetime ...more
“Everyone wanted to be the best. Best student. Best servant. Best Christian. They got caught up in it, pressing and pushing until they forgot whom it was they were trying to please.” 99 likes
“This generation seems to see children as a financial burden and responsibility to be avoided.” 9 likes
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