My Heart Went Walking is a family story set in the 1980’s Ireland, which follows Una as she navigates life through love, loss and redemption. When Una found herself pregnant at 16, she decided to leave her little hometown, leaving her family behind, and her bestfriend Cullen – the father of her child. Little did she know that this action would cause everyone’s lives to change dramatically.
I’ve been trying to read books from new authors and as I have discovered, it is a kind of a hit and miss for me. This one though, is definitely a massive hit. Initially, I really thought that this would be a very difficult read given its quite foreboding summary but after reading the first chapter, I found myself just breezing through it.
The story was poignant, bittersweet and very heartwarming. I loved that not only we get the main character’s POV, we also got the POV of the other two characters she’s very much involved with.
I loved Una’s dynamic character. I liked the fact that she didn’t act like a damsel in distress in the situation she unexpectedly found herself into and when she set her mind into something, she’d really go and see it through. I mean, despite her young age, I loved that she’s got the nerves of steel. I wish I had the courage she shad when I was 16.
This is a family story and there’s nothing particularly new about the plot, but I really liked how the author made each character relatable and very human. Una’s sister Ellie is the perfect sister but not annoying in any way. The bond she shared with Una may have been tested, but at times, blood really is thicker than water. I loved that Una’s mom was realistically portrayed as someone who is not perfect but would do everything for her children. There really is no other love like a mother’s love for her child.
I’ve never been to Ireland, but I’ve always been fascinated by the beautiful sceneries I’ve seen on travel blogs and videos and some books set in Ireland which I’ve read in the past, so I guess I was really looking forward to reading more of these beautiful settings which are not too many here. It’s understandable though, because this book is more plot-focused which I appreciate too. That’s just me nitpicking so don’t mind me. Hah!
To sum this up, Sally Hanan’s debut is an absolute gem! The ending was perfection leaving me smiling and feeling so good. I really cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in her next book!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
An advance review copy was provided by the publisher, Fire Drinkers Publishing via Netgalley for an impartial and honest review.
About the Author
Sally Hanan is an Irish import to the US. She made the eight-hour crossing back in the ’90s with a husband and two young children in tow. Since then she has managed to raise her above-average kids, develop a solid addiction to Facebook, and clean up when someone is about to visit.
On a more professional note, Sally has been counseling people for more than twenty years and is a certified life coach and a former teacher at the Texas School of Supernatural Ministry. She also runs a writing and editing business on the side, because she gets bored easily and she loves fixing words as well as people.