My Heart Remembers
An orphan train carries three Irish children from their tenement life in New York City to Missouri in 1886. Before they are parted toward separate households, the eldest, Maelle, bestows on her brother and sister their heritage: a family bible for baby sister Molly, a family photograph to brother Mattie, and a packet of her parents love letters for herself. These become the talismans of the children’s lives, as Maelle searches to reunite her family for the next seventeen years.
Unbeknownst to each other, all have followed their father’s advice to “take care o’ the wee ones.” Mattie, a cowboy and sheepherder, protects the downtrodden, with his fists when need be. Molly uses inheritance money to found a school for orphans. Maelle becomes a photographer in the Jacob Riis tradition. Petey, an abandoned newsboy, brings the three siblings together as he winds each around his heart.
Kim Vogel Sawyer displays a good command of the conventions of the Christian historical novel, with a fast-moving plot and enjoyable characters deserving of their road back to family.