Friday, March 31, 2017

A House Divided by Robert Whitlow

Released: Aug. 4, 2015
463 pages

About the Book:

Corbin Gage can stand up to anyone . . . But his own divided house will bring him to his knees.

Corbin, a longtime legal champion for the downtrodden, is slowly drinking himself into the grave. His love for “mountain water” has cost him his marriage to the godliest woman he knows, ruined his relationship with his daughter, Roxy, and reduced the business at his small Georgia law firm to a level where he can barely keep the bill collectors at bay. But it isn’t until his son, Ray, threatens to limit Corbin’s time with his grandson that Corbin begins to acknowledge he might have a problem.

Despite the mess that surrounds his personal life and against the advice of everyone he knows, Corbin takes on a high-stakes tort case on behalf of two 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. The lawsuit becomes a tornado that sucks Corbin, Ray, and Roxy into an increasingly deadly vortex. Equally intense pressure within the family threatens to destroy, once and for all, the thin threads that connect them.

Corbin must find the strength to stand up to his personal demons. Justice for two dying boys depends on it . . . his family depends on it.

My Rating & Thoughts:   🌟 🌟 🌟 (3 stars)

“Who but God has the power to change us?” This is one of the questions asked in this story and I think it conveys the theme of story well. The book did not take the path I was expecting when I first started it. I went in expecting a courtroom drama but got a family drama instead. Other than the main characters being lawyers and a bit of talk about their legal cases the story was much more about the relationship between the family members, admitting that there is a problem, taking steps to fix it and the healing of past hurts.
I found it moved pretty slowly but after about 5 chapters I began to be interested in where it was headed and became invested in Corbin realizing he needed help and wondering if his relationship with his children could be repaired. The story really digs into the lives of the characters, how they are trying to overcome their mistakes and hurts, leaning on and trusting God for his strength. Even after Corbin admits his problem and begins to takes steps to at fixing it he is not magically changed overnight, he still struggles has setbacks and has to learn how to try again.
I felt like we really got to know the hurts and struggles of each character and I began to feel for each member involved. Each character was portrayed as real people with flaws. I especially enjoyed Peter’s impact on Roxy, he challenged her but was there for her at the same time, and his love for her was obvious. Kitty may not have been physically present in the story, but her presence was felt and had an impact on each family member. She continuously prayed for Corbin and did not get the see the eventual impact they had on his life, but her prayers did have a huge impact on his life. Can Corbin beat his addiction? Can Ray & Roxy forgive their dad for the hurts he has caused?
I found the legal side of the story to be a bit lacking, the case definitely pulled at the heartstrings but for a case that could have been huge and had such a major impact on each Gage family member’s life, the wrap-up was short and the resolution felt wrong. I did really enjoy the last scene with the family.  

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