Review – The Father Effect by John Finch

Book description

Based on the feature film of the same name, THE FATHER EFFECT is a must-read for the millions of men and women who have lost their fathers through divorce, death, or disinterest.

John Finch always struggled after his father committed suicide when he was eleven, but it wasn’t until he was raising his own three daughters that he truly understood their futures relied on his coming to terms with his difficult past. To move forward, he needed to forgive both his father for choosing to leave, and himself for not being the best father he could be.

This journey led to THE FATHER EFFECT, a book containing practical help for anyone, man or woman, with a deep father wound from losing a dad through divorce, death, or disinterest. Through positive lessons on forgiveness and approachable advice on how to change your legacy as a parent, partner, and person, THE FATHER EFFECT is the ultimate healing tool for anyone who has suffered the absence of a dad.

First impressions

I picked this book with the hope to find useful information about this particular topic and see if I was missing something as a fatherless myself, and then share the information with those in need. After all the book cover says it offers hope and healing from a dad’s absence and that sounds pretty straight, right? Well, I was wrong.


Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad with the book content in itself, but it’s easy to see when you’re reading it that this is a very personal book, a very personal journey, John’s journey. The book starts with a letter written by John’s father, his last letter to his family. From there, John recounts his story through a difficult life without a father and how much time it took to him to realize something was wrong with the way he was living as a result of his father absence.

John’s testimony is powerful and without a doubt many will feel identified with his struggles, because they’re actually real and they have consequences, and many will benefit from the path and decisions John took to do something positive with his life. But there’s comes a point where the personal story keeps on growing and what just started as a simple testimony evolves into John’s detailed recording of his past life to his present reality where he’s married and a father of three daughters, and this is exactly the when the focus of the book shifts from hope and healing from a dad’s absence to practical advices from a father to your marriage and children.

There’s something John says about lacking fathers the that becomes quite the reality of the book: You can give what you don’t have. Because this is a personal journey, John only speaks from his point of view and cannot give more than what actually worked for him, for a married man with three daughters. I’m saying all this without bad intentions, but as a fatherless myself I didn’t feel this book was for me. Most of the information I found useful were long quotes by John Eldredge scattered through the book.

And just to confirm how personal this book was, the book finishes with a letter, this time by John to his father.


This book is for you if you are looking for an inspiring story ABOUT someone finding hope in difficult circumstances but if you’re looking for a more detailed book on HOW you can find hope and healing you need to look somewhere else.



I received this book from Hachette Book Group in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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