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A House Divided by Robert Whitlow
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A House Divided

by Robert Whitlow

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My book club has read every one of Robert Whitlow’s books, except one. He is one of our all time favorite authors, but we have been a bit disappointed in his last few books. But with his latest book, A House Divided, we declare that he is back! Back with riveting stories full of strong, well-developed characters and plenty of themes to discuss. We give this novel a unanimous highly recommended read designation.

Corbin Gage is a small town lawyer whose practice has seen better days and for the most part, Corbin is to blame. Along with his career, his personal life has been impacted negatively by his drinking. Divorced from a faithful wife and with only strained relationships with his children, the only positive in his life is his grandson, Billy. But his alcoholism is about to sever that relationship as well. He has one more chance to make things right . . . will he take it?

Although A House Divided involves a court case, it serves mostly as the foundation for a larger story of choices and consequences. We enjoyed the scenes involving legal strategies both in and out of the courtroom, but it was Corbin and his family that kept us engaged with the story. Corbin is a likable character, even as he insists on ruining his life. Other characters are realistically written and some are more likable than others, though most grew on us. We also liked the look into the workings of AA, and we learned a lot about the 12-step program and how the organization works. A few in our group grew up with alcoholic fathers and the scenes depicting Corbin’s decline rang true. One member stated that it was obvious Whitlow had done his research. Whitlow reprises a theme from one of his earliest novels, The Trial. Prayers are not one-time things, but live on long after the person bringing the requests to God.

Longtime fans of Robert Whitlow will love A House Divided. And if you have never read one of his novels, we recommend this one whole-heartedly!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

Great for book clubs. ( )
  vintagebeckie | Jan 18, 2016 |
A special thank you to Thomas Nelson--FICTION and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Southern attorney and storyteller, Robert Whitlow, author of The Confession, follows with A HOUSE DIVIDED, a mix of family and legal drama, featuring a rural Georgia lawyer in trouble with an alcohol addiction.

Corbin Gage, age sixty-two years old, is damaged. He has been drinking for over forty years. Alcohol has ruined his marriage, and his family. He is no longer close to his family and puts himself at risk with spending time with his much loved grandson, Billy.

His grown children Ray and Roxie, are also attorneys and they hope and pray their dad will change his ways before it is too late. His personal life and professional life has suffered due to the bottle.

Corbin takes on a toxic tort case, on behalf of three boys who have contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma due to an alleged chemical exposure. The defendant, a fertilizer company, is the largest employer in the area. Because of the lawsuit, Ray’s is forced to work with his father. Roxy’s Atlanta expertise in complex litigation draws her into the drama.

The three have to work together for the good of the community and those innocent victims involved. Can Corbin stay strong enough to make it through the temptation, without a beer, or a shot of whiskey? Will he be able to face his demons while trying to save those in harm’s way; while at the same time, salvage his own family, and redeem himself?

As always, Whitlow delves into the lives of flawed characters, with everyday stresses and temptations. The strong bonds of family with an inspiring, powerful spiritual connection. Ultimately forgiveness, hope, and redemption.

A native of Charlotte, NC, having spent 20 years of my professional life in Atlanta, always enjoy the Atlanta and Georgia landmarks- revisiting familiar places. ( )
  JudithDCollins | Aug 21, 2015 |
Title: A House Divided
Author: Robert Whitlow
Pages: 464
Year: 2015
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars.
A tale is shared with readers about a family entwined with a painful past while working in the same career field as lawyers. The patriarch of the family, Corbin, has not only been practicing law for decades but he has been an alcoholic too. The daughter, Roxie, is a brilliant lawyer who withstands some brutal work challenges as she begins seeing a young man named Peter. The son, Ray, is married to Cindy with a boy named Billy who is simply the apple of his grandfather’s eye.
Further into the work of fiction each of the three main characters begins going through a transformation from the inside out brought about by various scary and life-changing events. What I found compelling in the book most was the division in the family and yet the one godly woman who prayed for a change of heart, but didn’t live to see the results of her prayers. The situation is a lot like what we can read in the Bible of those who believed without seeing the promise fulfilled. Prayer is like that, at least to me, praying and waiting for the fulfillment.
The biggest change for a character is Corbin followed up by Roxie with a major case in the small town of Alto that divided the town, causing some to distance themselves from Corbin and his family. I love legal thrillers and while this isn’t mainly about the law, it draws the heart of readers in by the effects of what a company is pouring down the drain the town gets its water from.
The theme of faith starts out like a mustard seed, but builds the further along in the novel as the audience progresses. The hope of restoration for a family and the town really touched the heart, but what triggered my heart most was the ending of pure genius crafted by the author. The hope too that those who suffer addiction can, in fact, be released from those bonds is, I believe, true. The author also paints the affects of abuse and sometimes the time and work it takes after being free of addiction before others truly trust the offender again.
I hope you enjoy the work Robert Whitlow shares with us in A Divided House. It is sure to touch your heart, drawing you in to root for the underdog or perhaps get ticked at the arrogance of a certain lawyer or even the system. Whatever you do the one truth you will walk away with is that hope might be dimmed or detained, but can never be totally put out!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Aug 4, 2015 |
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