Reviewed by Vickie McDonough
My Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer
"This emotionally packed novel is sure to tug at your heartstrings ... have a Kleenex handy."
Three orphans separated as children search a lifetime to find each other.
When a tenement fire in New York destroys their home, Maelle, Mattie, and Molly Gallagher are trundled off to an orphanage. Before long, the three Irish born siblings are put on an orphan train and sent west—to get a new ma and pa, at least that’s what Maelle believes. The last words her father said to her were “take care of the wee ones,” and that’s what she’s tried to do. She even let the orphanage director think she was a boy so she and Mattie could room together.
In Missouri, a wealthy couple tears little Molly from Maelle’s arms. She begs them to take her and Mattie too, but the couple doesn’t want them. Maelle and Mattie are soon separated too, and Maelle feels she’s failed her father. A hole the size of New York exists where her heart used to be.
Years later, Maelle drives the photography wagon left to her by her adopted “uncle” Watts. Always searching for her siblings, she travels from town to town taking pictures of families and of young children who are forced to work long hours for little or no pay. At a stop in Shays Ford, Missouri, she meets a little orphan who changes her life. Is it time for her to give up her dream of finding Mattie and Molly and put down roots?
It’s been a long time since I read a book that brought tears to my eyes, but My Heart Remembers did, both sad and happy tears. This emotionally packed novel is sure to tug at your heartstrings as you read the story of the Gallagher children, who represent so many children who actually rode the orphan trains and were separated from their loved ones and thrust alone into unfamiliar circumstances. Readers will experience the children’s feeling of total loss, their fears, and longings through each of their points of view and will find it difficult to set this long book aside until it is finished. Some interesting and unique twists enhance the plot and add intrigue. Have a Kleenex handy. My Heart Remembers is definitely a book for your keeper shelf.
Vickie McDonough is an award-winning inspirational romance author. She has written four Heartsong novels and five novellas. Her stories have placed first in several prestigious contests, such as the ACFW Noble Theme, the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest, and the Texas Gold contest. She has also written books reviews for nearly five years and enjoys mentoring new writers. Vickie is a wife of thirty-one years, mother to four sons, and a new grandma. When she’s not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, gardening, watching movies, and traveling. Vickie loves hearing from her readers via e-mail.