Corbin Gage can stand up to anyone . . . But his own divided house will bring him to his knees.
Corbin, a longtime legal champion for the downtrodden, is slowly drinking himself into the grave. His love for “mountain water” has cost him his marriage to the godliest woman he knows, ruined his relationship with his daughter, Roxy, and reduced the business at his small Georgia law firm to a level where he can barely keep the bill collectors at bay. But it isn’t until his son, Ray, threatens to limit Corbin’s time with his grandson that Corbin begins to acknowledge he might have a problem.
Despite the mess that surrounds his personal life and against the advice of everyone he knows, Corbin takes on a high-stakes tort case on behalf of two boys who have contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma due to an alleged chemical exposure. The defendant, a fertilizer company, is the largest employer in the area. The lawsuit becomes a tornado that sucks Corbin, Ray, and Roxy into an increasingly deadly vortex. Equally intense pressure within the family threatens to destroy, once and for all, the thin threads that connect them.
Corbin must find the strength to stand up to his personal demons. Justice for two dying boys depends on it . . . his family depends on it.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. That may not be the exact phrase from either the Bible or Abraham Lincoln, but it’s what came to my mind when I saw this book title. In this instance, the ‘house’ is a family brought together at a funeral. The two adult children have lost their mother and are now left with their alcoholic wreck of a father. Despite the animosity between the three, the children have still followed their father into legal careers. They’re high flyers and their futures seem secure. That’s until their father takes on a case against a big company, and suddenly their names are worth nothing.
A House Divided is not a legal novel where the focus is continually on the case. This is a novel about a fractured family who just happen to be lawyers. I got the feeling that Corbin took on the case because the two sick boys could have easily been his grandson. It’s a story of healing and the trials (both legal and in life) that we must face before the healing can begin. Corbin, Ray and Roxy must hit rock bottom in order to see the possibilities for healing. Events are seemingly insignificant and unconnected, until you look at the big picture and realize they’re all jigsaw pieces without which it would be impossible to achieve the end result.
Alcoholics Anonymous and its Twelve Steps are a large part of the tale. At times, I felt each mention to be tedious and repetitive, but I came to understand that AA will play a large part in the life of any member. Corbin is reliant on AA not only to move forward in his life but also in his relationship with God and, consequently, his family. Ultimately, however, the book comes full circle as the family gather by a grave. It turns out that Kitty, their mother and ex-wife, influenced each of her loved ones by her actions when she was alive. Bringing this family back together was the legacy of this godly woman.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson and the BookLookBloggers program for my complimentary copy of A House Divided, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read A House Divided? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (a brand of Harper Collins Christian Publishing)
Publication Date: 04 August 2015
Page Count: 464