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My Heart Remembers
Bethany House / 2008 / Paperback
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Orphaned in a tenement fire, three Irish immigrant children, hoping to be adopted, are sent to Missouri aboard an orphan train. Despite eight-year-old Maelle's desperate attempts to keep her siblings together, each child is taken by a different family. Maelle vows that she will never stop searching for her siblings and that they will be together one day. Sixteen years later, Maelle is still searching. So are her brother and sister. United by blood, divided by time, will they ever be reunited?
Three Irish immigrant children are sent to Missouri aboard an orphan train. Despite eight-year-old Maelle's desperate attempts to keep her siblings together, each child is taken by a different family. Maelle vows she will reunite them.
Kim Vogel Sawyers 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, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
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Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
Located in: Kansas
Submitted: February 05, 2008
Tell us a little about yourself. I am the proud wife to military husband Don; mother to three wonderful daughters; Gramma to four (soon to be five!) adorable grandsons; a lover of cats, children, and chocolate...and most importantly, I am a born-again child of the King. Being a writer was my childhood fantasy, and I praise God every day for the doors He has opened to me. I am active in my church where I teach Sunday school and participate in the music ministry. In my spare time, I enjoy quilting and acting in community theater.
What was your motivation behind this project? I believe there is a universal desire to find our place of belonging. My dear step-grandmother's search for the love of family is symbolized through the characters of Maelle, Mattie, and Molly Gallagher. My step-grandma eventually found her place of belonging...in God's family. And that is where all of us can find our place of rest and fulfillment.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? My prayer is that readers will discover for themselves the true Bringer of Joy and Fulfillment as they travel the road to reunion with the characters in the story.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? I was so excited about this story because it was inspired by someone who is very dear to me. In my head, I began writing the story for Tantie (which is what I called my step-grandma). But suddenly the "fire" dimmed, and I found it very difficult to put words on the page. Eventually, through prayer and self-reflection, I recognized that my focus had been skewed--God put me on this pathway and I needed to be writing for Him. Once I changed my viewpoint, the story began to flow again. It was a good reminder to me--God gave me this ministry, and glorifying Him through the written word should be my main goal.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? God is my biggest influence. I call my story ideas "God seeds." In His timing, He waters the ideas and brings them to fruit. I am fortunate to have had parents who always encouraged me to pursue this dream and fellow authors who convinced me I could succeed. I am deeply grateful for their impact on my life.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: I love to hear from readers! Please feel to visit my website and drop me a note.
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