Review of “The Atonement Child”


It was several years ago that I first became familiar with the work of Francine Rivers. After seeing the film adaptation of her book, The Last Sin Eater, I purchased a copy of the book. It would be an understatement to say I enjoyed it– I absolutely loved it!

After having several friends recommend The Atonement Child, my Mamma and I decided we wanted to read it.

“Time was you could walk from one end of town to the other without worrying.”

I have to say, The Atonement Child, while unlike any book I have ever read, is definitely one of the most inspiring novels I have ever read.

The Atonement Child tells the story of Dynah Carey, a godly college student who has a led a sheltered life. Busy pursuing her degree and planning her wedding to the man of her dreams, her life is shattered and turned upside-down when she is raped.

“Come quick, please! Someone’s screaming!”

Scared and confused, Dynah finds herself in the middle of turmoil, which only deepens when she discovers she is carrying a child.

Why would God allow her to conceive through such a violent attack?

Is God punishing her?

Should she have an abortion?

How could she possibly want this child?

As we follow Dynah’s story, we watch as a web filled with a plethora of people is woven, and we feel the anguish, turbulence, and joy as the characters must come to grips with their humanity, their sin, and their Savior’s forgiveness.

“Purity. Smashed and broken.”

A beautiful story that both reveals the underbelly of our culture and celebrates the sanctity of life, The Atonement Child is a wonderful read that will make you weep, and smile through the tears. Difficult to put down, it is an absorbing and inspirational read!

“The Lord forgives you. The Lord loves you.”

While the book does deal with the difficult subjects of rape and abortion, they are handled in a very gentle, yet truthful manner. However, this novel is written for adults, not children, and while parents should judge the maturity of their child, I personally would not recommend it for children under the age of fifteen.

I found The Atonement Child to be a powerful and tender story, founded in Biblical truths. I would give the book a “B”, as I did feel there was a small hole in the story.


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