Dynah Carey has her life going smooth-sailing for her — doting and supportive parents, a handsome and intelligent fiance, good grades in a cozy Christian college, a part-time job that she loves — until she is raped one night while walking home from work. In an instant, her seemingly perfect life is shattered into pieces. She gets pregnant, her fiance becomes distant, she is kicked out from school, and she is facing the dilemma of whether to keep or get rid of the baby.
It’s been a while since I’ve read Christian literature, and this book by one of my favorite Christian fiction authors has been on my to-read shelf for quite sometime. Francine Rivers has been one of my favorite Christian fiction authors ever since I’ve read Mark of the Lion Trilogy, which I immensely loved. Aside from Mark of the Lion, I have also read and loved The Scarlet Thread. It is no surprise, therefore, if I loved The Atonement Child as well.
Francine Rivers has been very brave in coming up with the kind of book like The Atonement Child. It tackles a very sensitive issue — abortion — and never minces her words in trying to send her message across. Is abortion scriptural? If abortion is legal, is it also moral?
It is easy to identify with Dynah Carey’s character. If I were Dynah, I would also ask the same questions she asked. Why did God allow the rape to happen? Dynah has been good, hasn’t she? She doesn’t deserve this kind of trauma. If God is good, where is He when Dynah is raped? What is the purpose for all of these evil that happened to her?
Often we are told that God’s answers to our prayers sometimes come through the advice of people close to us, like our parents. Dynah’s parents want her to have an abortion. If I were Dynah and faced with the same dilemma, it would have been too easy to just obey, right? Plus, it isn’t like Dynah wants to have the baby by her attacker in the first place. But wouldn’t that be akin to —- murder? These and other relevant questions are faced bravely by Francine Rivers and she very upfront about it. Sure, the book does sound preachy many times, but I have already expected it because it’s Christian literature in the first place, right?
Another thing I also love about The Atonement Child is that it also portrays other characters surrounding the circumstances of Dynah’s dilemma — her parents, her grandmother, her fiance, the doctor/abortionist. These other characters also have their own stories to tell and it is interesting to know that a decision made by one person may have relevant consequences in the lives of others as well.
Although abortion is not yet legal here in the Philippines, it is still insightful to know what the Bible teaches and what are the repercussions for choosing to make a certain option. Sure, it all boils down to choice, but it would be wise to base one’s choices on what is the truth.
The Atonement Child is a courageous book. Its teachings may not be popular and may even be contrary to what is considered politically correct but this is what makes this book a stand-out.
My copy: paperback from Booksale (Php127.00)