Thursday, June 07, 2018

A Time To Stand by Robert Whitlow ~ Book Review

Adisa Johnson is an up and coming attorney at a huge law firm in Atlanta working in the corporate take over division.  She thrives on finding traps in multi-million dollar business mergers and purchases and putting together major corporate deals.  But when her aunt, who raised her and her sister, has a stroke and will need some help, Adisa heads home to small town Campbellton.  When she arrives she finds her home town embroiled in a huge controversial case that is pulling her town apart.  A white police officer has shot a popular and athletic black high school student.  The youth's life is hanging in the balance as all wait to see if the youth will survive and the officer will be charged.  He claims he had justifiable reason and that he heard a gun shot before he discharged his own weapon, that he is not a racist.  But the black community is not buying it and claims that he used his weapon simply because the youth was black.  Embroiled in the escalating controversy is a prominent black pastor who leads a very large church in the community.  When she comes to town, the pastor assumes which side she will take and wants her help in whatever way she can to prosecute the police officer to the full extent of the law.  Pulling her in the other direction is her old mentor who wants her to defend the officer.  Just when she has made up her mind and wants to get into the fray by helping prosecute, the young black youth's grandmother does something totally unexpected and Adisa finds herself challenged to look at the case with new eyes and with the town becoming more and more divided she finds herself being drawn to do the unthinkable at great cost to herself.

I really enjoyed this very timely story.  It drew me right in and made me think of these issues from other angles other than what might seem obvious.  It challenges perceptions about assumptions, consequences, justice, forgiveness and solutions to the seemingly insurmountable and unsolvable issues of race and profiling and policing.  I loved the character of Adisa who was a strong black woman but also felt the affects of racism in her life but was open enough to have her own perceptions and assumptions challenged.  I loved her bravery in doing what she thought she was being called to do.  With the lines drawn in the sand for the townspeople, I found the aspect of the story which had both sides believing God for victory very interesting, because that is what happens with life.   The story drew me to see how the author would handle that dilemma of which prayer God would answer and how.  Though once in awhile, I found some of the conversations a bit stilted I really enjoyed this book because of how it opened up my own thinking and would be excellent, I think, for a book club to discuss.

I gave it a 9/10.


Faith said...

this sounds GREAT! i'm going to look for this one at our library.

Good for these times least here in the States. :(

Barbara H. said...

This sounds so good, and so timely.