The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers
This book tells the story of Dynah, a young woman attending a Christian college, whose life is dramatically changed in one terrible moment. She's raped, and after refusing the morning-after pill, discovers she's pregnant. She's pressured by friends, family and school in different ways to either end and continue the pregnancy, but she doesn't even know what she wants. She's torn and can't understand why God would even allow this to happen to her. But as she realizes his plan for her and moves forward in her life, she not only strengthens her own faith, but helps change those around her as well.
I really enjoy reading anything by Francine Rivers. She's an excellent story-teller and has a wonderful way of bringing God into the story in a way that isn't cheesy or weird. Her exploration of the issue of abortion in this novel is eye-opening and heart-wrenching. It didn't really change my convictions on the subject, but it did open my eyes to the fact that it's probably affects more people than I realized. Also, Dynah's personal and spiritual growth throughout reminded me several times of the story of Job in the Old Testament. It was a great reminder of how God is always there, even when life is at its hardest.
One aspect of this novel that struck a chord with me, was Dynah's treatment at the hands of supposed Christians. Without giving away too much about the story, I'll say that the folks who should be the most loving, forgiving and (for lack of better word) spiritual, are the ones that treat her the worst and pressure her to get the abortion. It really irked me, yet, I could see it. Her Christian college reminded me in a lot of ways of the one I went to, and how rampant the hypocrisy was. It makes me sad to know that some people's only exposure to Jesus' love is through these religious people.
Anyway, this novel was excellent--stay up til 11:30 p.m. reading kind of excellent. It would be one of my favorite Francine River's books so far.
Have you read this book or anything by Francine Rivers? What did you think? Did it change your thoughts on any serious issues, like abortion?