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My Heart Remembers

(My Heart Remembers #1)

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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  3,840 ratings  ·  334 reviews
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
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Hardcover, 348 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Bethany House Publishers
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Carolyn V I agree, but, they would have to keep the characters straight; which is done nicely in books by chapters.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,840 ratings  ·  334 reviews


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Andrea Cox
This book never fails to make me weep! Such happy, emotional tears I will always embrace. The rich spiritual and emotional journeys in this novel are what I've come to expect and deeply appreciate in a Kim Vogel Sawyer story, and this particular tale never gets old. This is now my fourth read of it, though it's my first listen to the audio version.

The narrator, Heather O'Neill did a wonderful job, even nailing the Irish accent from the get-go, which gave me happy chills and a broad s
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Hannah
Simply perfection! What a delightful story, as the three siblings make their way toward the reunion they have long dreamed of accomplishing. Maelle was my favorite but not by a long shot, because Matt and Isabelle (Molly) were great in their own right (plus, who can resist Petey?) If you're looking for beautifully-written fiction from a strong Christian standpoint (definitely preaches the gospel) and with a romantic-focus value of nearly 0, grab it immediately and dive in!

I loved eve
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Angie Thompson
I admit that it took me much too long to finish this book. I also admit that that was only because I was so worried about how things were going to end that I let myself skip ahead when I first picked it up. Bad, bad me. I know. But this subject could have been handled in so many ways, and I'm not a fan of certain kinds of tearjerkers, so I really wanted to know that everything was going to turn out all right. (Also, this is only my second book by Kim Vogel Sawyer. I have a feeling I will be much ...more
Loraine
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Maelle, Mattie, and Molly, children of Irish immigrants, are left orphaned after a fire ravishes their tenement house. They are taken first to an orphanage in New York and then placed on an orphan train headed to Missouri. There, even as 8 year old Maelle fights to keep the together, they are torn apart and each ends up with a different family. Maelle, dressed as a boy, heads off with a photographer to become his assistant, Mattie is taken by a rancher as a child laborer. And baby Molly is taken ...more
Erin
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Take care o' the wee ones. Don't let them o' yer sight. D'ya hear me,lass?

These are the last words that eight year old Maelle Gallagher hears before her mother and father perish in a fire in their tenement house. With their only family gone, Maelle, her brother Mattie, and baby sister, Molly are thrown at the mercy of a New York City orphanage. Soon the three Irish immigrants find themselves on an orphan train headed for Missouri. Upon learning that she will be separated from her siblings, Maelle,
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Lila Diller
I loved it! I couldn't put it down several times. I still had about a 100 pages to the end, and I couldn't just stop; I had to finish it!

I loved the faith element. I loved the characters. I loved the history. I loved the interweaving of the three stories to finally merge at the end. The only thing I didn't absolutely love was the resolution. I realize there is a sequel, but I think the last thread could have been easily tied up in an epilogue.

On the whole, definitely going into my re-read pile
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Christina Knotts
Dec 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: leisure-reading
This was, overall, an excellent read. (Heart-wrenching, tear-jerking parts!)

I was not impressed with the writing, however. It has a "modern" feel to it, with very short sentences for which I don't really care.

Also, there were some parts where the unmarried couples would touch, etc. In one part, one of the main characters shied away from being hugged by a man and then later on, she realizes that she enjoys his touch now and that God brought her that "healing." I disagree w
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Charlene
5 "pitcher" Stars!!

What a refreshing change! Kim Vogel Sawyer lead me on a beautiful journey through the lives of Maelle, Mattie and Molly. I have not read a story written in this way before and I loved it! The style was unique and very creative.

The story took a hold of me from chapter one. Breaking my heart at times. But also healing my heart along the way. Rearly do I cry when reading but this story did make me cry for joy more than sad tears a few times. If I'm honest my heart longs for mor
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Jerry
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very sweeping historical narrative, the story of Maelle and her siblings was touching at times, heartbreaking at others. I enjoyed it.
Amanda Tero
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh, I loved this book!! It has officially taken its place as my favorite book by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Such a sweet, sweet story! At first, I liked Isabelle's (Molly's) story the best. And then Matthew's story developed. And then I just liked Maelle. Such beautiful characters. The orphan train is dear to my heart anyway, so reading a story of three orphans who "rode the train" and were separated... loved it.

This book was just beautifully done. When one character "got their life together"
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Rebecca
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a surprisingly good novel. I received it as a Christmas gift from my grandmother, and while I ordinarily do not dabble in the Christian fiction genre for one reason or another, I figured there was no harm in giving it a try. The story really sucked me in, especially with the three altering narratives from each of the protagonists. A quick read, but an enticing story that I couldn't put down. While the characters were all Christian, they certainly weren't perfect and were all the more be ...more
Marge
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it
I took advantage of a "free" Kindle book offer and downloaded this book. It is a story about three orphans who board an "orphan train" on their way to an orphanage. The year : 1886. The parents who were Irish immigrants perished in a fire leaving them to fend for themselves. Maelle is 9 and a half years old, Mattie, 6 years old and one-year old Molly. Predictably, they are adopted by three different families. But just before the younger kids are taken by their adoptive parents, Maelle manages to ...more
Linda Klager
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I am interested in geneology and this book talked about a family from Ireland. They moved to New York and lived in a tenement. This was a very loving family, but tragedy struck them and the children became orphans. I would like to read more books about the history of the "Orphan Trains".

These three children were split up even though Maelle, the oldest sibling tried to keep them together because her father asked her to "Take care of the wee ones". Little did Maelle know in the
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Kara
Sep 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2011
About 75 percent into this book I knew that I could not give this book more than two stars. I also knew that I had to review it, which I don't do very often.The plot was extremely predictable to me. I knew what was going to happen, and found myself wanting the siblings to meet each other so it could be done with. The characters fell flat. A lot of these characters were suppose to have a lot of different issues in their lives, and yet the back story to most of them fell short. I found myself wond ...more
Becky
Feb 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a light, quality read
This was actually a really great read. The writing was tight, the characters well developed and unique, the plot engaging, and the conclusion satisfying. It even has a social message.

Amanda Rose
This book is the first book I’ve read in a long time to make me shed a few tears. The journey is riveting, the characters likable, and it’s a voyage that isn’t short of emotional ups and downs.

When I began reading, I was suddenly transported into this enchanting and touching story, told from a little girl’s perspective - all care and responsibility were set upon her shoulders to care for her siblings after their parents tragic death in a tenement fire. I found myself quickly sympathizing with M
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Linda
Aug 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Three orphaned siblings become separated when they are taken in by three different families. As adults they found one another again by the grace of God and in answer to many prayers. The action takes place in Missouri in the early twentieth century. Orphaned children were frequently used and abused by their keepers. This book exposes such activity and the need for legislation to stop said abuse. The author did not develop her characters, and my heartstrings were not pulled. I was more interested ...more
Stephanie Addie
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin
Find the enhanced version of this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Sawyer covers a lot of ground in My Heart Remembers. Immigration, Ellis Island, crowded tenements, sweat shops, foundling asylums, orphan trains, early photography and religion. Against this backdrop she relates the story of three siblings, separated by tragedy and united by a common cause.

The Gallagher kids survive terrible misfortune only to be divided by circumstance. Left in an orphan asylum, the siblings are selected for relo
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Marilyn
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My Heart Remembers had my emotions pulled in so many directions. Author Kim Vogel Sawyer is gifted to write historical fiction with grace and love.

Three young orphans, Maelle, Matthew and Molly Gallagher were separated when they went sent on an orphan train from New York to Missouri. Maelle remembered her dad's last words the night of the fire in the tenement house they were residing in--those words being "Take care o' the wee ones." Maelle was heart broken when they were not allowed to stay to
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Anne OK
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
A sweet and tender, sometimes heartwrenching story of three immigrant orphans who are separated and sent to three different homes. Right before the three parted ways, the oldest, Maelle gave each one a personal item hoping that it would give them hope and help them remember they once belonged to a family. A journey of fifteen years has separated their lives and each have a story to tell. Though heartbreaking and tearful, this was such a wonderful story with an inspirational message. Finding each ...more
Kara
May 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was a really touching book. I cried a couple of times during it. I loved that most of it was about overcoming adversity. Getting past selfishness, discovering what's important in life and turning to our Heavenly Father. This was a Christian book with a lot of the themes throughout it. At times it didn't seem like they delved into the thought processes enough with regards to Christianity but what can you expect? That would have turned the book into a much longer read. I liked how she told th ...more
Janell R.
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellently written book. It drew me in, and made me want to read more by the same author. The way it ended definitely left me wanting to read more, and even though it ended with a possible "loose thread", it was finished satisfactorily.
Kim
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Downloaded free to my kindle and wasn't sure how it would be. Ended up really enjoying it. I can't imagine being separated from my family!
Sarah
Sep 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
I need to stop reading free books just because they're free (#postgradproblems). Also, a woman from the 1800s who goes by "Mike" ... ? Pretty sure I've see that before.
Abigail Mitchell
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
This story was Great!!! Couldn't help but cry at the Reunions.
Melinda Freeland
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who knew a phrase as simple as "Take care o' the wee ones" would cause a lump in my throat and the need to fight back tears every time I read it? Each of the 16 times I read it! According to my Kindle search, that's how often "wee ones" is used in reference to this directive given by a father to his 8-year-old daughter in Kim Vogel Sawyer's Christian historical novel, My Heart Remembers . If a phrase repeated that often seems like overkill, just wait until you read this book – "wee ones" will ...more
Claudia
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is not a new book to the market, the copyright date on this book is 2008, but it is one I would highly recommend. I was unaware that 150,000 homeless, orphaned and abandoned children were sent from crowded cities in the Eastern states out West between the years of 1854 and 1929 on trains that became known as “orphan trains.” In the early 1900s the practice of child labor was called into question. Advocates for children sought to improve the education and safety of our country’s young ones. ...more
Ellen
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three youngsters living in an Irish tenement building become sudden orphans when their parents die in a fire. Ma'elle is the oldest who is mistaken for Michael since her hair was shaved for lice at Ellis Island. To keep the family together as best she can, she continues perpetuating the belief that she is a boy all the way to the orphanage and beyond. When circumstances split the children up, each one takes a piece of home, a remembrance, in hopes that they will reunite one day.

Orpha
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Margo Berendsen
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
How can you resist putting down a story of 3 orphaned siblings sent west on an orphan train, adopted by different families, knowing they will find each other again someday... but how?

Of the three orphans, I found Maelle's story the most interesting, since she disguised herself as a boy and ended up being adopted by a photographer in need of an apprentice. He never would have taken a girl as his apprentice, but by the time he discovers that Maelle is a girl, he's already trained her,
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Award-winning, bestselling author Kim Vogel Sawyer told her kindergarten teacher that someday people would check out her book in the library. The little-girl dream came true in 2006 with the release of Waiting for Summer's Return. Kim's titles now exceed 1.5 million copies and are available in six different languages. A former elementary school teacher, she now enjoys a full-time writing and speak ...more

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My Heart Remembers (2 books)
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