I have been reading Robert Whitlow’s books for years now. I have always found his legal mysteries a good read. But every once in awhile he writes just a good story. In A House Divided he has done just that. Yes it still has the legal side of the story in that all three main characters are lawyers and one of the law firms takes on a chemical company. So if that is your favorite part of Robert’s books you will be very happy. The other part of the story is the adult children of an alcoholic and what is life like now that they are adults and still dealing with a parent who gets a DUI. A parent who has always been a drinker and one that is not willing to accept help.
Corbin is a lawyer to the little guy. He has long taken on those cases that might not be worth it to anyone else, but he is willing. He is also single handedly destroying his life and career. He ruined his marriage years ago, but now that his ex-wife has passed he has to face what he is really like. His wake up call is when he falls in his boat after drinking too much while fishing with his grandson. His son, Ray, tells Corbin they are now limiting how he can spend time with Billy. That plus a DUI forces him to admit he is an alcoholic and maybe does need help.
While Corbin is struggling with his own demons, he decides to take on a case of two little boys who have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Corbin is sure it is because of the chemical plant in town. He needs to prove that they are at fault to get money for the families to pay for the treatment the boys need. But with the added stress of a big case will Corbin be able to stay away from drinking?
If you have never experienced an alcoholic in your family, this is a very good glimpse into what life is like for the family. The kids have memories of a father who would come home from work and spend the night passed out in a chair, if he made it home at all. Also, how can you trust someone who for your whole life has lied to you? These are issues that these families face every day and Robert candidly writes about the issues in a way that will help us understand just a little better what that might be like.