My Heart Remembers: A Novel
Kim Vogel Sawyer
Bethany House (2008)
Reviewed for Reader Views by Lori Plach (5/08)
Imagine losing your parents in a tragic fire, and having to travel hundreds of miles with other children to meet your new “parents.” This is what happened when kids in the 1800s would lose their parents. If you were left as an orphan and had no family to step forward and take custodial and guardianship for you, you would ride aboard an “orphan train.” Now, imagine pledging to your mother before she dies that you will do what you can to keep your family together. Maelle Gallagher had her younger brother and sister on the train alongside her, only to reach Missouri and be separated. Each of them has a family treasure which they can use to remember their brother and sister by, but will they ever be able to be a family again?
Each of the family treasures is of sentimental value all its own. Maelle keeps the love letters that their parents had written to each other. Mattie has a picture of the three children with their parents. Even though she is just a toddler, Molly is given the family Bible with the birthdates and full names of the children written inside it. Will these three children ever be able to match up their specific things with their siblings?
They all grow up with their adoptive parents. Maelle is taught a trade of being an on-the-road photographer. She has lost her adoptive father but has inherited his equipment. Mattie is tragically mistreated and can’t wait till he grows up so he can leave. Molly is adopted by the Standlers; she is treated lavishly and lives the “rich life” until her adoptive parents died. What will happen when they all end up in the same town? Can they put the pieces back together?
Kim Vogel Sawyer has done an incredible job of writing an inspirational Christian fiction book which has its own line of mystery, history and intrigue all rolled into one volume. “My Heart Remembers” is a book which will pull at your heartstrings. What an incredible love and determination the Gallagher children have in trying to hold on to the hope of ever seeing their siblings again. I had a very difficult time putting this book down. I simply loved it and hope that Kim Vogel Sawyer is writing another book similar to this one again soon. My heart will definitely remember “My Heart Remembers” for a long time!