A Time to Stand

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, to pursue reconciliation while loving others as ourselves.

I’ve been a long time fan of Whitlow; I’ve read everything he has done and own pretty much all of his books. He was first described to me as the Christian version of John Grisham which intrigued me and I’d have to say that was pretty accurate.

This recent work is not only another great example of his talent but it’s incredibly relevant in the current socio-political climate in America with its focus on racial tensions and snap judgements based on long held prejudices. Whitlow has a way of creating something compelling so you want to dig in and follow him on whatever journey he thinks is relevant.

I think he did an intriguing job of examining the varies facets of racial issues: white cop shoots unarmed African-American, a town that didn’t think it had racial issues suddenly finds maybe it does, the town’s citizens find themselves dividing based on skin color, and in almost reverse Mockingbird plot an African-American attorney is going to defend the unpopular white defendant.

It feels like Whitlow is asking the reader to ask themselves some tough questions about where they stand and to learn some things they may not be ready to admit just like his characters. This is an excellent book for groups to discuss.

I found myself shedding tears more than once at the heartache he has created in this ripped from the headlines story because so much of this book has happened and is happening in the ‘real world’. The ending message about peace and perseverance is something I hope actually happens if not in my life time then hopefully my children’s or theirs but it must happen.

Thank you to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson for allowing me to review this book.

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*synopsis and pic from netgalley.com

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