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352 pages
Mar 2008
Bethany House

My Heart Remembers

by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Kim Vogel Sawyer’s newest book My Heart Remembers is a historical novel that explores the history of orphan trains. The story takes the reader on a journey through the lives of three orphaned siblings, who were separated at a very young age.  It was a cold night in 1886 as Maelle Gallagher stood across the street watching and waiting for her parents to escape the fire. “Take care o’ the wee ones” is the last thing she would hear her father say. With her sister, Molly, in her arms and her brother, Mattie, tugging at her night shirt, Maelle began a journey that would take her around the country and change her life.

In this book, the reader watches as the Gallagher children grow up, begin their relationships with God, and live their lives, but always wondering if they will ever be together again. The only things they have connecting them are the family Bible, some letters written from their father to their mother, one family photograph, and their ties of love to each other. Nevertheless, those bonds are so strong, they remain despite time, distance, and ill fate.

This book is a must-read for people who are interested in drama and faith. The author shows a segment of history from an emotional and human perspective, rather than just a statistical recording of events. The youngsters on these trains experience multiple levels of trauma because of death, family separation, personal injury, poverty, and abandonment. The Scriptures say that those who reach out to these desperate children and offer them shelter, food, clothing, and nurturing are following biblical mandates. Christ said that even “a cup of cold water” given in His name would be righteous service to him. The love of friends and family cannot be discounted in the effort to bring the Gospel to those who need it most, and this story shows such love in action. The author makes history come alive through vivid scenic descriptions, powerful dialogue, and strong plot pacing. -- Alyssa Crager,

Book Jacket:

United by blood, divided by time, will three orphan train siblings ever find one another again?

Orphaned in a tenement fire, three Irish-immigrant children are sent to Missouri to be adopted. Despite eight-year-old Maelle's desperate attempts to keep her siblings together, each child is taken by a different family. Yet Maelle vows that she will never stop searching for her brother and sister...and that they will be together one day in the future.

Seventeen years later, Maelle is still searching. But the years have washed away her hope... and her memories. What are Mattie and Molly doing now? Where has life taken them? Will she ever see her brother and sister again?