Saturday, September 1, 2007

Atonement Child

by Francine Rivers

Available in paperback or audio CD. Tyndale House, 1999; ISBN: 084230052X; 375 pages.

Someone recently asked me about my most and least favorite reads of the summer (2007). I was surprised to admit that both titles came from the same author.

Francine Rivers is by far one of my favorite Christian novelists. I have read her Mark of the Lion 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. As if this weren't enough, she then 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?

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 like 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. (See the links above for my recommendations.)

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