Book Review: The Atonement Child

Before the review, some housekeeping:

1. About the Green Smoothies: I finally got Riley, my pickiest-of-picky children to try one (I didn't even ASK -- he was just so curious!) He liked it! Hey, Mikey! The kid wore a 'green moustache' around the house while swigging the stuff.

If you really want to try to get it in with your kids -- go much easier on the spinach and greens than the green smoothie lady. It will be red with the strawberries. Then add spinach over time.

Since I do mine in the food processor, I can't add as much water (while mixing) as she does, either. Mine is initially more of a 'sludgie' than a 'smoothie'. I mix in some water, and that's fine.

2. Remember a LONG time ago when I mentioned 'Mozy'? (I think I did -- can't find where the post is...) You have GOT to read this article about the miracle on the Hudson. Then subscribe to Mozy.

Proceeding with book review:

In short:
It's about abortion.
It's a difficult read (emotionally).
It's a valuable read.
The book cover will tell you: young, single, Christian girl gets rap*d, becomes pregnant. Fiance', doctor, Christian school, and parents all 'encourage her' to have an abortion. Keep reading.
I give this a thumbs up, not only for the writing -- many of you loved Francine Rivers' 'Redeeming Love' -- but also for wading through a subject that the church only has one thing to say regarding: EVIL!!!
Here is a little logic I thought about on the subject:
I have heard a statistic (and can currently find none like this) that 1 in 3 women of child-bearing age has had an abortion. I mentioned this to a group of ladies and one woman was aware that 'abortion statistics' GENERALLY also include women who have had miscarriages and received a D&C procedure. So let's be ultra- generous and say that, realistically, that number may be 1 in 10 women of child-bearing age has had an abortion. Okay?
Then, let's look at research by Barna who tells us that for Christians, our teen pregnancy rate, drug addiction and/ or alcoholism rate, divorce rate, suicide rate, and on and on, looks NO DIFFERENT than the world?
What might we surmise from those two statistics? I surmise that within the walls of my church building there may be as many as 50-100 women on any given Sunday who carry with them the pain, perhaps shame and/ or guilt of a past abortion.
Do I want to be the one throwing stones, screaming "baby murderer" at such a person? Oh, no, I do not.
I have never had one person, of the literally HUNDREDS of women I know personally or have had an opportunity to minister to, speak to me of personal knowledge of abortion, but I feel certain that I have encountered plenty. That tells me there is much shame and guilt, and I would love to be the voice of God's redemption for these women.
I just thought the book was great look at such a painful subject and the scars it can leave behind.
Francine Rivers also has a BEAUTIFUL post-script for women that the book may open old wounds for. If you know that because of your past you absolutely do NOT want to read the book, I would encourage you to find a copy just to read the last two pages. It is BEAUTIFUL.
In short, I would say that 'The Atonement Child' is kind of like your first Green Smoothie: may not be 'smooth' going down, but it's very good for all of us.


Kelly Sessions said...

I've heard of the book but never read it. I'll have to pick it up! Also, my parents used to be volunteers/board for the Hope Pregnancy center in Temple, we used to have to go to all of the speaking engagment/dinners when we were younger...and might I say as a teenage girl it was very eye opening and I appreciate all the stories those ladies told...If you ever find a seminar or dinner for one of these organizations its well worth it to attend!

jerriann said...

I am actively working in this ministry by giving my personal testimony on this subject. I have had both men and women come to me and talk about it a little. I will be giving my testimony on the 7th of May at my home church.

I would love to hear personally from you with any tips and I would very much appreciate your prayers.

Scott F said...

There is a great Christian nonprofit in Austin that, as one of their ministries, deals with the after effects of an abortion. It is called Austin LifeCare. Many people from our church are involved with this ministry.
Here is the website:

And the "Real Stories" page ties in perfectly with the healing component of this book. This may provide healing for any of your blog readers who are struggling. If anything, it will remind us all to be compassionate.

Amy Boone said...

You know how I feel about this! I decided to put my money where my mouth is and volunteer at a crisis preg. center. It's wonderful and terribly hard. I had a client just recently who was sobbing because she had her first abortion at 13 (yes, you read that right) and another one over 10 years later. The first one her mom took her to get and the next one her husband "made" her get. What? Are you kidding me? She was devastated. She actually said she was suffering from depression. It was heartbreaking. There was NO part of me that wanted to do anything except love on her. No judgments or criticisms. She was dying inside. I have read that book and it is very hard, but very compelling. Glad you read it, too!

jerriann said...

yes, that's it, you die inside.

Anonymous said...

I have 2 friends, both Christian now but weren't at the time, who have had abortions. Both face enormous guilt 20-30 years later, even though in both cases they really had no control over the decision at all (both were underage and forced into it by parents). I cringer for F, who is in my Bible Study group, each time one of the other ladies starts off about abortion because I know it is very painful for her.

Anonymous said...

I truly wish I knew better how to minister to a relative who calls me regularly, often after midnight, in deep depression. Horrendous alcohol and drug addictions - all results of the two abortions she had as a teenager.

It rips the heart right out of me, and I honestly do not know how to deal with her problem effectively. She needs so much more than my listening, praying with her, and no matter how many ways I find to reassure her, or efforts to find help for her, it is not enough.

She has found a recluse/comfort in the "bottle," and is now so tired of the fight that she has no reason for leaving the only comfort she has - that bottle, even though she knows it's killing her!

It is absolutely more than I know how to manage, even my own emotions, and I know that it is very likely that she will end up dead soon. In fact, recently, she woke up in the hospital not knowing what had happend, but had many bruises and broken bones, including two or three vertebrae.

I wanted to move to the city where she now lives, but my husband forbids it, feeling that it would be more than we could handle, at our age and with our health issues. It's actually his relative, but his family is my family.

PLEASE PRAY FOR HER!!! And if you find a book that would help me help her, PLEASE let me know!

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