Book Review: A House Divided

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Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Jul 29 2015 10:24 AM

I just posted my latest book review to the Vyrso site: 

The book focuses on a family of lawyers. Lawyers, yes; family, not so much.

The book opens with the funeral of Corbin Gage’s ex-wife, Kitty - ex, because they had divorced ten years earlier. The split was based, as most are, on many factors; but each had its root in Corbin’s drinking. He “wasn’t an alcoholic”, but his wife and family needed distance from the uncertainty that alcohol brought to their relationship.

Corbin’s law practice was still there - but it was shrinking. He could barely afford to keep his administrative assistant on the payroll. It was the light workload that kept Janelle Griffin around the office.

It was the first day of work after the funeral that things began hopping. A new client walks in, Corbin’s son, Ray (also a lawyer), is seeking to move into private practice law after serving in the DA’s office for six years, and Corbin’s daughter, Roxy (also a lawyer), has a boyfriend that is becoming increasingly serious. The catch, the new client’s case will become the reason Ray is forced from his new job in private practice and the reason Roxy loses her promotion at the large firm where she works. Oh, did I tell you Corbin is an alcoholic.

I have long been a fan of Robert Whitlow - having read most (all?) of his books - legal thrillers occasionally compared to John Grisham. This newest book fills the bill. Combining the damage of industrial waste, the effects of alcoholism on a broken family, and God’s grace, Whitlow has woven a story that held this reader’s attention from the first chapter to the end of the book. Along with this captivating legal drama, the author also introduces his audience to the principles and attitudes which have allowed Alcoholics Anonymous to be successful in supporting the recovering alcoholic and their families. This former aspect is not done in a forceful way but is carefully intertwined into the story as it unfolds in the Gage family.  

My only concern, if that is the right word, is that I want more. There are questions still to be answered if the entire picture is to be seen:

  • Where will Roxy work now that she has lost her job?
  • Where will Roxy and her new husband live?
  • How do Roxy, Ray, and their families work through the effects of a lifetime of living with an alcoholic (could Al-Anon help)?
  • Will Corbin Gage’s small, struggling law practice survive into the future?

Robert Whitlow has had both stand alone novels and series of books with shared characters.  My hope is that this current book falls into the latter category. In the meantime, the potential reader will not be disappointed as he or she chooses to pick up this book and read another story of God’s grace working in the hearts of broken people.


This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.



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