A Time to Stand

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Oct 2017

Member Reviews

Like many of Robert Whitlow’s books, it took a bit of persistence to get into it but it didn’t take very long before I was hooked. As always the writing was strong with well developed characters and a plot that reflects current events.

I will reiterate what other reviewers have stated. This is a book that everyone should read – those on both sides of the race issue. By the end, I wanted to stand up and clap. Whitlow  clearly stated what our society needs to overcome our differences. If only our citizens could understand.

I particularly liked how several characters changed their entire outlook on the issues before the end of the book and reading about how they reached those conclusions. The theme of forgiveness was strongly woven throughout the story and is something we all need to learn to do.

“A Time to Stand” may be one of Whitlow’s strongest books yet. I know it had a powerful impact on me.
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The story takes the subject of racial prejudices head on when a white cop shoots a black teen in a small southern town. The twist is a young black female lawyer realizes that God wants her to defend the cop. I found the story very slow but interesting. I liked the way the author chose to wrap everything up.
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This is a story ripped out of front page news, a white cop shoots a black teen and the small town they live in must deal with the repercussions of this event.  Adisa Johnson, a young black lawyer is brought on board to help with the defense of the white police officer by her old mentor, a white lawyer.  Through the course of the investigation Adisa and the officer and his wife must deal with their own racial beliefs as they try to find the truth of what happened that night.
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I believe this book has a wonderful theme - justice for all. However, I could not get into this book. The characters were pretty forgettable. In fact, I read this book for a while and went almost all week without reading it and didn't wonder about what would happen in the book. It seems pretty predictable.

I was hoping to find a really good Christian fiction. Instead, I would say that it is pretty typical of the genre. The characters were pretty predictable as well as the plot.
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I’m trying to gather my thoughts after finishing this outstanding book. The story could be taken from the front page of any newspaper. A young black man is shot and a white police officer is responsible. This seems to be the hot topic right now as tension is high among people. The author wtites a story that shows both sides of this controversy and digs deep into your emotions. 

I liked Adisa right away because she wanted to do right for her client no matter what race either one of them were. She knew there would be speculation from reporters why she was representing Luke, the police officer involved in the shorting. Being a black woman and defending Luke did cause some backlash, but her integrity was very impressive. The story is very tense at times and I loved how the author showed how someone can be unbiased no matter what race they are.

It was interesting to see how divided people were on this shooting and Adisa was determined to stand up for the truth. I loved how the author explored racism in a way that makes us think how easy we jump to conclusions just by looking at the color or one’s skin. I encourage everyone to read this book and examine ourselves. Are we guilty of being prejudice?

“If you want to stamp out prejudice, there has to be an admission that it exists.”

I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.
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A Time To Stand what a dynamic, Prolific, entertaining, phenomenal story.  This one starts off in the past to lay the ground work to your story and may I say - well done - it was awesome.  Then comes Chapter One and then you are off and running and that ain't no lie.  You have a convenient store, a high school jock, an obstinate customer, and a group of ne'er do wells and something happens and  then the ball keeps rolling from there and it is incredible.  The author brings the LORD in at just the right points and that means a lot to me;.  It is so enjoyable and may I say it is so totally worth your time.
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Adisa Johnson, a young African-American lawyer, never expected that conversing with a reporter would lead to losing her job. Luke Nelson, a white police officer, never planned to shoot an unarmed African-American youth. When their split-second decisions alter Adisa and Luke's lives, they find themselves uncomfortably situated together. Adisa, as a reluctant and loyalty-divided defense lawyer, and Luke, as a suspicious but desperate client. Their tenuous relationship serves as an example of their respective communities and the racial tensions that exist far after slavery's abolition. As circumstances escalate and Luke's hope of exoneration diminishes, the future seems dark. Everyone involved, white and black, must confront their own prejudices. Only then can light, hope, and life arise.  

A Time to Stand is the first novel I've read by Robert Whitlow. The plot was engaging, but not captivating to where I felt I couldn't put it down. Adisa's relationships, spiritual growth and the preparing of a legal defense were the most interesting aspects of the story to me. As expected, the challenging issue of racial prejudice spans this entire novel.  The author attempted to address multiple sides of the issue, but I'd be interested in hearing the thoughts of an African-American reader as to how authentic this book reads. While the main issue of the book is racial prejudice, there are other thought-provoking nuggets throughout the book including a most encouraging one: Our actions and prayers matter more than we'll ever know.

I recommend A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow to readers looking for a thought-provoking read with elements of suspense and drama.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free 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."
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This book was a little hard to get into at the beginning, though I'm not sure why. After a few chapters, however, I enjoyed getting to know the characters, and their internal struggle and dialog. I'm not convinced the relationship between Reggie and Adisa was realistic, as they barely knew each other before things became deep relationally (not physically). The whole time frame of the book felt rushed to me, especially the ending. I thought "Wait, what? It's a year later all of a sudden?" 

I did enjoy the storyline, and I think the subject matter was good. But I felt a lot of things didn't get resolved between characters, or were resolved in superficial ways. It would have been good to see people get into discussions and really hash things out rather than gloss over disagreements. 

Also, sometimes the author's attempts to use descriptive language are clumsy and sound ridiculous. Food doesn't have to be described every time someone is eating. Tangy, acidic, who cares? Get back to the point of the story. Overall, though, I did enjoy the book. I don't know that I would tell someone it's a must-read, but it was a way to pass the time for a few evenings. His books are always hit or miss for me, and this one was a hit, but not a grand slam.
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A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow is the timely story of a convenience store robbery, a search for the perpetrators, and a police involved shooting. This is a legal thriller, but it is told in such a way that the community’s competing opinions on this dilemma are voiced throughout the book. This is the first book that I read from this author, and I was not sure what to expect. This author does a great job dealing with a difficult topic, showing both sides to the story.  I would highly recommend this book because it was a great read, had well developed characters, and had a story line that kept accelerating but was still believable at all times.  I can’t wait to read other books by this author!  I received a digital copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review.
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I love Robert Whitlow books. He writes fantastic legal fiction with a spiritual lense…that didn’t mean that I wasn’t hesitant to read this book once I read what it was about. Obviously US race relations are tense and let me tell you, I consider myself to be a Christian Evangelical, but half the time I can’t stand them. They drive me nuts when it comes to race relations. I have stopped reading an author who I liked because of what she would say about black Americans on her social media sites…thus I was worried. I didn’t want to start side-eyeing one of my favorite authors. I remember picking up this book and saying Whitlow you can either make me love your writing and make me hate it. Reader, I loved it.

What I liked:

Race relations. Whitlow could have chosen to really sugar coat this book and he didn’t. I thought he did a very accurate job of showing the suspicion on both sides of the racial line and of dealing with the fact that blacks and whites have a complex history. I love that he acknowledges it instead of shying away. You can’t deal with a problem if you pretend it’s not there.

Adisa. Adisa is a young black female attorney who works hard and loves the Lord. She is faced with quite a few challenges in this book. I did not envy her once. Nevertheless, she stays continually in prayer and trusts that God will work things out. She is a main character you can trust to make the right decisions and to handle delicate situation. When she faced difficult decisions, her thought process felt real.

Luke. I will admit he wasn’t my favorite person in the world, but Whitlow made him real. I managed to be both irritated at him and still want him to be cleared. So kudos Whitlow.

Law. I can never argue with Whitlow’s grasp of the legal field. As a lawyer, reading all that Adisa had to do made me tired. Poor girl.

Secondary characters. They are much needed to the telling of this story so that you can get different points of views. There is even a little romance (but this is a book that didn’t necessarily need it.).

How it wrapped up. I’m sure you would like to know. It worked.

Sidenote: Whitlow is either an aspiring chef or a foodie. He made me hungry on several occasions.

Spiritually, there is a great emphasis on the power of praying and how if you serve God, He will bless your descendants.

What I didn’t like:

I liked the entire book!

Romantic scale: 7

Overall, a wonderful book. I think Whitlow handled the topic beautifully. I was worried at first, but if anything he made me love his writing more. It was a book I couldn’t stop thinking about and read much faster than I intended.

**I received a copy from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**
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A Time to Stand focuses on the turmoil in small town Campbellton, Georgia, after a white police officer shoots an unarmed black teenager. The plot could very easily have been ripped from the headlines of today’s newspaper.

The story centers around several characters. Adisa Johnson is a young, extremely successful African-American lawyer practicing in Atlanta. Luke Nelson, a young, white police officer, recently left the Atlanta PD for a quieter life with his family – only to become embroiled in the biggest fight of his life when he shoots unarmed Deshaun Hamlin, a point guard for the local high school. Deshaun, the victim, lies in a coma after the shooting. Also, there are several other characters that range in importance; my favorite is Adisa’s elderly Aunt Josie. Josie’s wisdom, love of God and spunkiness were a refreshing touch in such a politically charged context.

I appreciated how Whitlow showed the racial tension and prejudices on both sides in an even-handed manner, not showing prejudgment, bias or one-sidedness. As a reader you could feel the tension, frustration and anger felt by both sides and could understand the reasons.

I normally enjoy Whitlow’s books. His knowledge of law and human nature is fascinating. I don’t know if it was the POV (Point of View) or if it was in a more narrative style, but there seemed to be a lack of feelings, profundity and passion to the novel. Thus, it was hard for me to get into his latest book, A Time to Stand. Nevertheless, because the storyline happens to be very intriguing, I stuck with it. I’m glad I did because the basic premise was interesting and timely. However, early in the book, I guessed the eventual outcome (perhaps that’s another reason it wasn’t as good to me as some of his other books).

I received this book from NetGalley and Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
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I have loved all Robert Whitlow books I have read, but I have to say this one was a disappointment. I had a difficult time staying with it to the end. I just didn't feel the writing was Mr. Whitlow's standard. The story line was good. Adisa is a young African American attorney who comes back home after her aunt, who has raised both Adisa and her sister, has had a stroke. A few days prior to Adisa's arrival, a young African American teenager is shot in the street by a Caucasian police officer. The black community cries out for justice. The police officer felt his actions justified as he felt his own life was in danger. Adisa is fired from her job in the city and is brought on by an attorney to assist in the defense of the police officer. This brought outrage from the black community. Adisa believes everyone deserves a fair trial, but does have mixed emotions about her part in the case. The story just seemed to drag on and on and wasn't engaging for me, the reader.
I was given a free ecopy of this by the publisher, Thomas Nelson and Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Mr. Whitlow has written a compelling story that will have you questioning what really happened and wondering what is going to happen. This book felt like it was taken right out of a current day headline. A white police officer shots an unarmed young African-American man and racial tensions arise. Readers are right there with Officer Luke when the shooting happens and we experience everything he goes through at the time. It was easy for me to side with the officer, but then we meet Adisa a young African-American lawyer who has recently returned to town due to her Aunt’s health and gets pulled into this case. After reading the newspaper articles and meeting a few from the African-American community she deems to the white officer guilty, but then she is asked to help defend him. Which side of the case should she be on? Is Officer Luke guilty or not? 
  
After being challenged by the Lord, Adisa searches her heart and joins the defense team. Now she is experiencing backlash from the African-American community due to her association with this case. Luke struggles with the whole situation, he is feeling guilty but feels he did what he needed to do at that time; he is scared for his family and is unsure whether or not to trust Adisa. Luke struggles with letting God handle the situation and making what seems impossible to get through possible. 
  
Story is told through multiple perspectives which provides readers with the ability to really get to know the characters and feeling for them. Along with the main characters there were some secondary characters I really liked. The aunt, the grandmother and the lawyer each challenged Adisa and made her analyze her thoughts and feelings. Luke’s wife, Jane, was a great prayer warrior and a wonderful support for him. I was a bit disappointed in the way the pastor first reacts to Adisa’s news but he redeemed himself in my eyes when he challenged everyone “It’s time to stand! To look past differences the Lord created and come together in unity of God’s spirit.” Can everyone put racial feelings aside to find the truth of what happened and fight for justice together? 
  
This book challenged me as there were times I was back and forth between sides, wanting justice for the young man but didn’t feel the officer was guilty. I loved the way God intervened to give a resolution to a situation that seemed impossible possible. I was pleased with the way the story ended, it felt complete.
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In the book A Time To Stand, author Robert Whitlow follows the life of Adisa Johnson, a young African American lawyer. Her world is turned upside down by several events and she returns to her hometown. During this time her hometown has been rocked by a police shooting by a white officer and an unarmed African American teen who is now in a coma. Adisa now struggles with wanting to be a special prosecutor against the officer or should she walk the path against the grain and defend the officer.
Whitlow really captured the struggles of forgiveness within the context of racial struggles. He does a great job of weaving a story that keeps you interested and twists that you are not expecting. 
I would highly recommend this book. I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Whitlow did an amazing job telling this story. I loved the characters and their struggles dealing with this timely topic. The story presents the complexity of the racial tension that is prevalent in our society today.

I liked Adisa a lot! She was an honest character that struggled with her commitment to justice and her breaking heart at the situation that surrounds her.

I think the thing that impressed me was the way the author portrayed the different viewpoints in a situation like this. Although I don’t agree with some of the attitudes displayed by the two sides in situations like this one, I think I understand them a little better.

If you want a story that is “ripped from the headlines” that gives a fair look at both sides this is an excellent choice.

I give this 4 stars on the Goodreads scale/5 Stars on the Amazon Scale

Disclaimer:  I did receive a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, I was not required to give a review and the opinions here are my own.
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Robert Whitlow is a practicing lawyer and a veteran writer of legal fiction.  I enjoy the genre, so I thought I'd pick up A Time to Stand.  Whitlow has been called Christian publishing's version of John Grisham, so it's probably no accident that Whitlow's novel about a race-fueled conflict in the South echoes Grisham's novel A Time to Kill.  I've read a lot of Grisham, and Whitlow compares favorably in style and skill.

Whitlow displays the great story-telling chops that it takes to make enjoyable legal fiction.  The main character, Adisa Johnson, is a corporate lawyer in Atlanta, on her way up the legal career ladder.  She returns to her tiny hometown to visit her aunt and ends up sticking around.  A local lawyer, for whom she had worked as an intern many years earlier, asks her to help him with a case.  His firm is representing a white police officer who shot an unarmed black teenager.  Adisa, who is black, is torn between her convictions about black-on-white police violence and racism, and her desire to pursue justice and honor the law.  Under conviction from God, but to the consternation of the entire black community, she chooses to work on the case.

Things become more complicated when she becomes romantically involved with a local pastor who is a leader of the movement to prosecute the police officer.  Adisa struggles with her own race-based predispositions, while the community at large comes to terms with racial tension that few were aware had been swirling under the surface in the peaceful town.  Whitlow is, of course, pulling this story straight from the headlines.  He strikes an insightful balance between the attitudes of the black community and the white community, avoiding the extremes of the violent groups, black and white, that have poured gasoline on simmering racial fires in recent days.  Adisa's wise aunt Josie voices Whitlow's take on the matter: "The kind of love that removes bricks in the wall of prejudice only comes from above.  Anything else is like a Band-Aid on cancer."  Later on, the pastor preaches that "there is only one definitive, all-encompassing answer to what divides us, isolates us, and causes us to mistrust--transformation of the human heart through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Whitlow avoids lecturing about race and racism while telling a thoroughly enjoyable and believable tale.  Yes, it's fiction, but I felt like the dialogue, the courtroom scenes, and the church scenes were well-written and realistic.  I do wonder how authentic A Time to Stand would seem to black readers.  Robert Whitlow is a white male, well into his legal career.  Adisa is a black female on the early end of hers.  Beyond that basic issue, I wonder how a black activist would relate to Whitlow's presentation.  To me (also white), it seemed balanced and realistic.  I'm just very curious what a black person would think. . . .  Personally, I'm with Whitlow.  No matter the details and circumstances, blacks and whites need to shed their pasts and prejudices and come together in love, and the best--perhaps the only--way for that to take place is through the power of Jesus.


Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!
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Robert Whitlow has never disappointed with his legal novels.  He always has a very interesting plot, very relevant to the age in which we live.  He's very good at what he does and I always look forward to what he will write next.
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A Time to Stand

by Robert Whitlow

Thomas Nelson--FICTION

Thomas Nelson
Christian

Pub Date 12 Sep 2017 

I am reviewing A Time to Stand through Thomas Nelson and Netgalley:

Adisa Johnson is a young black attorney, living her dream of practicing law with a prestigious law firm in Atlanta, when she is called back home to defend a young black unarmed teen who was shot by a police officer.  She was called back to help her aunt but finds herself wanting to help this young man as well.

The trial will make the town come face to face with their own prejudices?

Will Adisa be able to get them to look past that, to help her client?

Find out in A Time to Stand!

Five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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Another book by Robert Whitlow that I can recommend to the readers in the library I oversee.  I love it when I can do that.  In this new book, Adisa Johnson, a young African American attorney, is living her dream of practicing law with a prestigious firm in downtown Atlanta when 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.
The book depicts a lot of the prejudice that we still find in our country and how we are eager to blame people sometimes without all the facts. In this case, Adisa faces much and she even puts herself in harm’s way when she decides to be the officer’s lawyer.  Even the officer has trust issues with her as an African American. But, as this books exhibits, we can all learn forgiveness. But the book carefully depicts what can happen when people step out in faith.  And when they handle things with much prayer on both sides of the color spectrum. There is much to be learned from this book.
The book has it all—suspense, current events and even a love story as Adisa is drawn to the pastor of a local church. For some reason, I don’t think of church pastors as being single. So I really wasn’t prepared for the romance to go down that path. But it did and it was handled very appropriately in the book. 
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  The comments are my own.
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Campbellton, GA is the setting for Robert Whitlow's timely legal thriller.  The relationships between its black and white citizens go back generation to share cropper days and even to slavery.  When one of Campbellton's young black male's is shot by a new-to-the-city white police officer, the town divides its loyalties.  Just minutes after receiving a dispatch call that Deshaun Hamlin is a suspect in the robbery at the QuikMart, Officer Luke Nelson approaches Hamlin on a nearby street.  Sure that the young man is reaching for a gun when the youth puts his hand in a pocket, Nelson shoots.

As Deshaun teeters between life and death, it is learned that he never had a gun and probably was not involved in the robbery.  Luke is placed on leave and waits to learn if he will be indicted.  A family man, he is supported by his church and others in the community, while at the same time, dozens of others, especially the church members of Deshaun's grandmother's church, demand justice for the boy.

Meanwhile, a perfect storm of life events brings African-American attorney Adisa Johnson back to her hometown of Campbellton.  At first, Adisa's race and loyalty to her neighborhood have her leaning toward supporting those who want Nelson tried for assault and attempted murder, but her legal experience pushes her to see that the officer must get fair treatment.  Never did she consider defending him, but that is what happens.  Robert Whitlow is one of my favorite authors for legal fiction, and he does not disappoint in this timely novel. He fleshes out the town, making its history almost a distinct character in the book, and that helped me see that "place" is an important part of the stories behind the headlines of today's news.  There is prejudice at every turn in this book, but Whitlow shows that even strongly held prejudices can come down when a few people take a stand for fairness, forgiveness, and the truth.
I received an e-copy of this book from Netgalley.  I was not required to write a review and all opinions are mine.
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