Monday, 17 December 2018

Dynah Carey: The Atonement Child

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Warning: Character Sketches Contain Spoilers

Dynah Carey: The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers

“Dynah Carey knew where her life was headed. Engaged to a wonderful man, the daughter of doting parents, a faithful child of God, she has it all. Then the unthinkable happens: Dynah’s perfect life is irrevocably changed by a rape that results in an unwanted pregnancy. Her family is torn apart and her seemingly rock-solid faith is pushed to the limits as she faces the most momentous choice of her life: to embrace or to end the life within her. This is ultimately a tale of three women, as Dynah’s plight forces both her mother and her grandmother to face the choices they made. Written with balance and compassion, The Atonement Child brings a new perspective to the most controversial topic of our times.”

This is the blurb from for “The Atonement Child.”  While the basic plot and message are made clear in the blurb, there is much more to Dynah’s character in the story.  And although the reviews of this book vary wildly, most agree on the positive, uplifting character of Dynah as the story begins.

 In reminiscing about her choice of college, she recalls the appeal of smiling faces of the students there.

“There had never been any question that she would end up at a Christian college. Where better to learn how to serve the Lord than in an environment centered on Christ?” And yet she had hesitated in wasting her parents’ money for the schooling. Her dad insisted that she needed to learn to be independent. Blessed as she was, Dynah’s future fiancé, a pastor’s son, greeted her at the airport bearing a sign with her name on it.  In an instance of foreshadowing, Ethan insists on accompanying her everywhere so much that she tells him “I don’t need a bodyguard.”   And yet she did.

After being attacked, Dynah’s mind feels fractured, much like Humpty-Dumpty of nursery-rhyme fame. Everyone pities her.  She feels alone, Ethan seems different.  His  hug, his kiss, are brief and aloof.

“She wanted to talk about her feelings with Ethan, but every time she tried, he changed the subject.” She felt the distance between them like a yawning chasm, growing as each week went by.. . . She missed the tenderness and intimacy they had shared. They still talked, but not about anything that mattered.”  Did he blame her for being raped?  Did he feel God was punishing her?  Obviously to Dynah, her fiancée now thought she was defiled.  She continues to ask God—why?

That question, and its despair, only multiplies when she learns she has become pregnant by the attacker.  She even briefly considers an attempt at suicide, feeling trapped with no way out.  When asked to leave the Christian college to protect its reputation, and Ethan’s, she feels sorry for herself but does what she has to and breaks up with Ethan.  Then she heads home to reveal her situation to her parents.

Dynah’s faith wavers, but never completely leaves her. After the birth of her baby, God at long lasts reveals  two things:

The man He has chosen for Dynah. …and who actually was The  Atonement Child.

Purchase The Atonement Child today at Amazon.

Read discussions of the book at Goodreads.

Columnist: Robin Bayne




Robin Bayne is the award-winning author of 14 novels/novellas, along with a variety of short stories, articles and devotionals. You can catch a weekly devotional for writers on her blog each week a different well-known Christian author is featured.  She works a day-job in community bank lending and lives in Maryland with her husband of 23 years.


Robin will be writing about fictional characters or their creators who catch her attention for one reason or another, and she would love to hear your opinion on them as well.

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