Author: Lynn Byk
Genre: Christian - Fiction
Publisher: Capture Books
Date Published: September 1, 2022
ISBN-10: 1951084497
ISBN-13: 9781951084493

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The Fearless Moral Inventory of Elsie Finch by A. Lynn Byk is a three-generational narrative. It may be hard to believe that this is fiction and not a fictionalized memoir because it is a trying story for Elsie to tell. However, since authors tend to write based on what they know or experience, perhaps emotions and creativity were deeply influenced by the author's own story.

The multilayered, complex story of greed, deception, and secrets in a large dysfunctional family has many unexpected twists and turns. Elsie tries to untangle the history of her parent's broken marriage that has resulted in animosity between the parents and four sisters. She appears to be the only family member with a sense of clear-headed normalcy. She sees herself as the peacemaker. The many bickering central characters are engaging, if not sympathetic. The author captures family life's oddities and pain with frankness, sharpness, and a sly-witted style. Each of the sisters portrayed is distinct, with a background and personality that sets one apart from the others. The distinctiveness contributes to her way of thinking, her reaction to family trials, and her interpretation of her place in the family.

As Elsie tries to untangle the misunderstanding and blame-making gossip that has torn her family apart, she also becomes a target. The palpable tension doesn't let up in this character-driven story. As old wounds and heartaches bubble to the surface, each character involved tells their story from their unique point of view. Rarely do both sides of the story match. Elsie struggles to hold the family together.

Undesirable character traits will be recognizable and relatable to many readers and show evidence of the author's unique ability to observe society. The reader will think deeply about members of his own family and acquaintances. The story evokes family trials when the world is on precipices of change and generations react differently.

Distinct Christian undertones throughout the story add layers of complexity without being preachy. Spiritual dilemmas are brought to the surface, allowing readers to wrestle with spiritual conflicts in their own lives.

Chapter headings added comic relief to the seriousness of the memoir and offered a puzzle. How do the titles relate to the coming chapter? The author's sense of humor is often shown by inserting short comic tales to break up the gravity.

The Fearless Moral Inventory of Elsie Finch is an illuminating fictional memoir that reveals life secrets with vibrant narrative prose. Every page of this nuanced account of the multigenerational family comes alive with the force of history, the wonder of place, friends, and strangers that shaped the author's sensibilities.

Readers who are intrigued by family sagas will enjoy this novel.

Reviewed by: Carole W

About Lynn Byk


Because LYNN BYK practiced family law, she shines in depicting the conversion of assets in ELSIE FINCH. Her last book, MISTER B: Living with a 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist, is a light-hearted memoir of being a companion to her elderly father-in-law, an aerospace physicist.

Visit for more information on Lynn Byk


By: BooksForBondingHeartsDate: 10/17/2022 20:47:20
One of the best American family sagas of the 20th Century.

By: BooksForBondingHeartsDate: 10/17/2022 20:46:29
One of the best American family sagas of the 20th Century.

By: Charmayne Hafen Date: 10/17/2022 18:14:44
This book moved me  to tears, made me smile and reminded me that family is one of the most important aspects of this life. What we say and do has a profound impact on those with whom we live. 

By: Bernice W.Date: 10/08/2022 15:12:30
I was captivated by this book! What Elsie discovers on her journey into her past was surprising, even shocking at times. There are lessons to be learned for every reader and applications to be made. All families can relate, on some level, to someone in Elsie’s family, and yet find encouragement.

By: Auralee ArkinslyDate: 10/08/2022 09:47:19
This story is so deeply moving and restorative. The issues of loyalty versus morality, or anyway you want to draw those lines becomes very realistic and convicting. It will be a story to follow me for a very long time. Big hearts and kudus to this author!

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