Book Review: A Time to Stand

21 Nov

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.

Robert Whitlow grew up in north Georgia. He graduated magna cum laude from Furman University with a BA in history in 1976 and received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1979. A practicing attorney, he is a partner in a Charlotte, NC law firm. He and his wife Kathy have four children and three grandchildren.

Robert began writing in 1996. His novels are set in the South and include both legal suspense and interesting characterization. It is his desire to write stories that reveal some of the ways God interacts with people in realistic scenerios.


My Impressions:

Robert Whitlow is one of my book club’s favorite authors. We read every book that he publishes. A Time to Stand was our selection this month, and we were not disappointed. A timely novel, it looks at the prejudices and preconceived attitudes of a small southern town — a town that reflects America as a whole. We found this an excellent look at the racial divides within our society. Highly recommended.

A Time to Stand begins with the shooting of an unarmed African American teenager by a young white policeman. As the investigation begins, the sentiments of the town fall along racial lines. Whitlow does a great job of showing the deep-rooted prejudices and injustices that influenced the modern day attitudes of both sides. At the center of the action is Adisa Johnson, a young black lawyer who at first wants to serve as a special prosecutor in the case, but comes to represent the police officer. Controversy follows quickly.

Forgiveness is a major theme of the novel. As the young man who is shot fights for his life, his grandmother who raised him calls upon her community to grant forgiveness to the police officer. She never says justice shouldn’t be served, but does call for the healing that forgiveness can bring. Her character also causes controversy and causes Adisa to reevaluate her own beliefs. The criminal investigation and legal proceedings are interesting, but really take a back seat to the evolution of the main characters and the community as a whole as they are forced to confront deeply held beliefs that do not align with what Jesus teaches. There are plenty of twists and turns to the story, but at the end the characters and the community are stronger for the lessons learned.

A Time to Stand is Whitlow at his best. He is a strong writer whose characters speak to the hearts of his readers. There’s a lot to learn from this book, and it will cause the reader to reevaluate their own thinking. Another highly recommended read from Whitlow.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

6 Responses to “Book Review: A Time to Stand”

  1. Jodi Hunter November 21, 2017 at 11:45 am #

    Sounds Incredible.

    • rbclibrary November 21, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

      Whitlow almost always hits the ball out of the park.

  2. Sue November 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

    I also enjoyed this book. He took a timely topic but Whitlow’s handling of it really had me thinking that what we see on the news is just the tip of the iceberg!

    • rbclibrary November 21, 2017 at 5:19 pm #

      My book club liked that the characters all had some preconceived attitudes/ideas that influenced them. It was interesting to see the characters grow.


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