I remember when Christian fiction became really popular. I was somewhere close to being a teenager and devouring books at a ridiculous rate. All of a sudden there were all these Christian books popping up in stores and the library and I pretty much jumped straight from juvenile/young adult fiction into the world of the Christian historical romance novel. I don’t have a clue how many I read, but I know it was a lot.
And then, at some point, I realized that most of them were basically the same thing written over and over and over. So I quit reading them. (I feel that I should mention that it’s been years since I’ve read much of anything in the Christian genre, so it’s possible that this has changed. And there are always exceptions to the rule, some of which I’ll be discussing a little later this month.)
Before I gave up on them, though, I read The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers, which is the single Christian novel sitting on my bookshelf today. Here’s the deal with this book: it’s sad and painful and beautiful. It’s about a girl who faces a horrifying choice. It’s about learning to actually live what you think you believe, even if your support system crumbles around you. It’s about really and truly trusting that God knows best for your life. It’s about seeing the beautiful in the midst of pain and horror and ugliness.
I adore it. And hate it. And adore it some more.