A Time to Stand
By Robert Whitlow
Published by Thomas Nelson
ISBN# 978-0718083038
416 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: In a small Georgia town where racial tensions run high and lives are at stake, can one lawyer stand up for justice against the tide of prejudice on every side?
Adisa Johnson, a young African-American attorney, is living her dream of practicing law with a prestigious firm in downtown Atlanta. Then a split-second mistake changes the course of her career.

Left with no other options, Adisa returns to her hometown where a few days earlier a white police officer shot an unarmed black teen who is now lying comatose in the hospital.

Adisa is itching to jump into the fight as a special prosecutor, but feels pulled to do what she considers unthinkable—defend the officer.

As the court case unfolds, everyone in the small community must confront their own prejudices. Caught in the middle, Adisa also tries to chart her way along a path complicated by her budding relationship with a charismatic young preacher who leads the local movement demanding the police officer answer for his crime.
This highly relevant and gripping novel challenges us to ask what it means to forgive while seeking justice and to pursue reconciliation while loving others as ourselves.

REVIEW: “White cop shoots African-American youth” – racial tensions rise. Everyone reacts from their understanding of the situation. Hatred is fueled and things get heated. We see it in the news. This author takes readers on an unexpected journey as characters seek justice, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

The story kicks off with readers getting into the police car with Officer Luke Nelson as he goes about doing his job. He responds to a possible 211 – armed robbery in progress. He’s too far to go to the crime scene but hears the dispatcher give the fleeing assailants description and the direction they head. Tension builds and emotions escalate as readers scout out the area with Officer Luke to find the suspects. He’d worked on the Campbellton police force for 18 months and this was his first 211. When he worked in Atlanta he responded to calls like this every week. He knew the drill.

After Officer Luke Nelson tries to capture the assailant the story switches and readers are introduced to Adisa Johnson; a young female African-American attorney who has taken a break from her “dream job of practicing law with a prestigious firm in downtown Atlanta,” to take on a pro-Bono case she believes in. All is well until a split-second decision changes the course of her life and career.

While reeling from her work situation Adisa gets a call concerning her Aunt Josie. She headed to the hospital in Campbellton as fast as she could. When she got there the town was in an uproar about a controversial case. She felt bad about what happened but she didn’t have time to think about it. Her life’s dream had just blown apart and her heart ached for her Aunt’s health condition.

“Lives are at stake; can one lawyer stand up for justice against the tide of prejudice on every side?” This author did a brilliant job of showing this horrific situation from many viewpoints. It is a multi-faceted story that takes place in a small town in GA. I was apprehensive about reading this book because I didn’t know where the story would take me. The author has the gift of getting readers to instantly connect with and care for his characters. I liked that he gave readers a front row seat as the facts unfold in the case.

This author acutely shows how fast hate and miss-conceptions can fly every which way! The situation can quickly become bigger than the small town. The author shows what happens in the church and how the boy’s family handles things. The reader sees Luke and his family struggle with what happened and sees the back lash from the community.

This situation seems impossible until the people let God intervene. God can do far more than we could ever imagine. Both Adisa and Luke struggle with letting go. Do they leave God out of this and handle it themselves? What could it hurt to seek God’s counsel? Pray.  Lay it all down at His feet.

A Pastor says this in the middle of the storm, “It’s time to stand! To look past differences the Lord created and come together in the unity of God’s spirit! To stand in agreement that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. To stand together on earth as we will one glorious day…...”

This is an amazing, heart-wrenching, hopeful read that shows how God can intervene if we let him. This is not a preachy book. It’s an honest look at what could happen if people pray and let God move in their lives. When He intervenes, hearts change so does our perspective; no matter what storm we face. I liked the plot twists and surprises inside this powerful drama.

This novel will get you thinking and praying. This is a must read for everyone. It will make a great book club pick as the author includes seven discussion questions to help navigate your lively book club meeting. Robert Whitlow hits it out of the park with this one. It will move your heart and have you look at life differently. If you haven’t read this author before I highly recommend this book. It’s a keeper.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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”

Nora St. Laurent
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