My Heart Went Walking
An Irish tale of love, loss, and redemption
by Sally Hanan
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 05 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 15 Jan 2022
The only man she’s ever loved is seeing her sister.
And now they have to save her together.
Sally Hanan’s sublime debut mixes the prose of Sue Monk Kidd with the dialogue of Maeve Binchy. With captivating warmth, she pulls us in to how it felt to live in Ireland’s changing culture of the ‘80s, and how it often made a woman’s decisions for her.
“I can’t bear to keep walking. But you can’t keep a secret in this town unless you leave with it.”
Kept apart by their love for one man, two sisters embark on their own paths towards survival, love, and understanding, until they finally meet again in the worst of circumstances. And the reality might break them all.
My Heart Went Walking is a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that sweeps from the small Irish town of Donegal to the “big smoke” of Dublin City; a book that celebrates the pull of family and the chance of redemption. It is a novel for everyone who feels connected to the Irish approach to life—that of grit and laughter—and also for everyone who loves an overriding message of hope and restoration in all things.
"An absolute gem of a novel, taking readers on a compelling, entertaining, sometimes heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting journey." -IndieReader (IR approved)
"Jojo Moyes fans will love the emotions within these pages." -Booklist (starred review)
“Wonderful story! Engaging and enthralling. The best I’ve read this year.”
“So so good! I was tearing up at so many parts. Just wonderful!”
“Beautiful, beautiful use of language.”
“Emotion, tears, expectation all in one awesome book. Sally Hanan is a terrific storyteller.”
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Average rating from 75 members
My Heart Went Walking by Sally Hanan. My Heart went walking for the characters in this book as well. Heartwarming , heartbreaking , sad , funny , joyful , emotional , I could continue but will suggest you read it for yourself. Is Sally Hanan the next Maeve Binchy ? I think she could be.
What a very pleasant trip into Ireland of the ‘80s. It’s the story of two sisters, Una and Ellie, and the ups and downs — pretty serious downs — of their lives. It’s a story of decisions and their consequences, love, forgiveness, and hope. The storytelling is superb, and the writing is superior. Ms Hanan, I will most definitely read everything you write in the future. Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review My Heart Went Walking. I enjoyed it immensely.
My Heart Went Walking is a family story set in the 1980’s Ireland, which follows Una as she navigate 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.
What a beautiful book about love and finding yourself and where you fit in life. I love Ireland so much. So I was excited to read this book and just imagine being there again. The characters were interesting and full of life. The story was engaging and had by heart breaking on second and fluttering the next!
A women's fiction story that is so well written and real. I still can't believe I was granted the opportunity to read. So for that chance, thank you! Being a woman has been hard since forever, no matter our culture, age, or location on the globe. But it is a whole lot easier when we support each other when we don't judge each other. Believe!
My Heart Went Walking by S. Hanan, published by Fire Drinking Publishing, is the gripping story of two sisters. Set in the 1980ies in Ireland it's an Irish tale of love, loss and redemption. I read the blurb and was intrigued, and what can I say, this book blew me away; gripped me with both hands; had me from the start, hook, line and sinker. Una and Ellie are just teenagers when their lives change dramatically. Every one of them has her own drama, tragedy, redemption. MHWW is a slow burn with just the right amount of everything, gave me all the feels, let me so easily connect with the characters. I love this unique story, I love the pace, I love the writing, 5 stars.
I was fortunate to be able to read part of this lovely book several years ago, and knew then that it was going to be a stellar read. A poignant saga of loves lost and found set against a backdrop of the eighties. The title is evocative and poignant – and not the least misleading. Ms Hanan will take you on a journey through Ireland that is so realistic, you can hear the brogue and taste the porridge. A thoroughly enjoyable, immersive read, highly recommended.
Absolute brilliant book. This is a well written story of an Irish family in the 80s and how the main two sisters go through many issues . This is one of the best books I've read recently and I definitely recommend it .
My Heart Went Walking by Sally Hanan is one of the best novels I’ve read recently. Although it deals with tough life situations in a real way, the feel isn’t one of doom and gloom, but hope and striving. One night. One too many drinks. One bold move. And 16 year-old Una Gallagher is devastated to find out, a few weeks, later, she is pregnant. Out of anger, fear, and a misguided sense of acting in love, convinced she has no other choice, Una runs from everything and everyone she loves in order to protect them. In reality, she has erected walls of protection around herself: walls of lies, guilt, pride, fear, and shame. My Heart Went Walking is a novel about a good girl making bad decisions and learning to live with the domino effect of consequences. It’s about sorrow and rejoicing. About anger and love…acceptance and forgiveness. About real people and real life. Sally Hanan’s debut novel caught me by surprise. Her writing is masterful: as I read, her settings and characters come to life and leapt into my heart.
For anyone who has stepped of the path and wondered how to get back on, for everyone looking for redemption in brokenness, this book is for you. Though it is fiction, the characters become as familiar as friends, This beautiful story reminds us that sometimes the way to find the path again is to wander, because that is where growth happens. Sally Hanan’s writing drew me into the story, brought me to all kinds of tears, and made me want to visit Ireland as soon as possible.
If you love Maeve Binchy, you need to read Sally Hanan's debut novel about coming of age in 1980s Ireland where 16-year-old Una runs away from her family and small town of Donegal, pregnant and ashamed. She digs deep to find strength first to keep her baby and then return home and face her family. But she finds her best friend (the father of her child) falling in love with her sister. Only tragedy can bring them back together. The characters are well developed and engaging. I found it hard to let go when the book ended. I'm looking forward to more releases from Sally Hanan. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance reader copy of My Heart Went Walking. I highly recommend it.
This is my first read of author Sally Hanan. It will not be my last. I devoured this one in one day and it was lovely. A tale of family, blood or not, of love and loss and dealing with the consequences of decisions made, and finally redemption. Hanan draws you in immediately and paints her characters so well you can't help but become invested. I loved them all, some more than others and I will miss them. I loved this one and would highly recommend it. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review.
Such another beautiful debut that I quickly fell in love with. It is set in 1980's Ireland and tells the tale of two sisters in their teens whose lives unfold in different ways. It is a book full of love, loss, and redemption between family and friends. It show that good intentions do not always work out to be the best. The characters are so alive and realistic and each of their journey's was as well. As a woman with a strong irish catholic upbringing their troubles especially resonated. It's a very well written debut with a strong plot lines. I loved it. Thanks you to Netgalley, the publisher and especially the author for such a thought provoking story. 5*
Mit 16 Jahren schwanger zu werden war nicht der Plan. Auch das Sie um ihr Kind behalten zu dürfen, ihr Zuhause verlassen muß, war so nicht geplant. Aber bei all den ungeplanten Veränderungen in ihrem Leben sind auch ein paar richtig gute dabei. Sie findet ein neues Zuhause, neue Freunde und auch den Weg zurück nach Hause. Ein wunderbares Buch über das Erwachsenwerden unter widrigen Umständen.
I love stories set in Ireland. Mauve Binchy is one of my favorite authors. My Heart Went Walking captured much of the spirit I love in Ms. Binchy’s novels. The characters were my favorite part of this novel and they were so relatable. I liked that this novel wasn’t your one dimensional love story where characters are stagnant. These character grew, matured and remained authentic. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes a good life story, and everyone who likes an authentic love story. The importance of family and the problems caused by secrets and misunderstandings are familiar themes, but the author created a unique and enjoyable story.
Lots of tears in this book, including my own as I reached for the Kleenex quite often. Set in beautiful Ireland, this book is very reminiscent of Maeve Binchy ( a favorite author) who would interject a real plot surprise right in the middle of what appeared to be a most ordinary story. Una Gallagher, a good Irish Catholic girl, finds herself “in trouble” and makes a decision on her own how to handle her predicament, therefore, setting in motion a set of unintended consequences for herself and her family. The kindness of strangers, and her strong family ties, teachers her that she doesn’t always have the right, or only, answer. Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this debut novel from Sally Hanan.
Thank you to NetGalley and Fire Drinkers Publishing for the ARC! What a beautifully written story. So touching and emotional. The author did an amazing job drawing the reader (me) into the lives of Una, Ellie and Cullen. You will feel all emotions possible while reading their stories. The characters felt so real and not one dimensional. Captivated until the very end. I will definitely recommend this book and author to others. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was heartbreaking at times and was a compelling story. Ellie was such a strong young woman and her story although tough and heartbreaking was also full of hope. The characters were so real it was hard to put the book down. Beautifully written and a truly beautiful story.
My heart split into pieces with the passing of my favorite author, Maeve Binchy - but this book took me right back to her style of fantastic story telling! What a breath of fresh air this book is - I fell in love with all of the characters immediately. And I love the glossary of Irish terms - many I already knew, but I was enchanted to learn more! May Sally Hanan have a long career of writing engaging, heart-filled stories!
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. A really enjoyable read. Great characters and so well written. Loved the character development. Highly recommended!
A quiet women's fiction novel set in the 1980's, MY HEART WENT WALKING is the brilliant story of family--blood family and found family--sisterhood, young love, mistakes, faith, and motherhood. Even with multiple point of views, the writing flowed beautifully. Descriptions of the setting and the conversations between these very connected people were vivid and natural. I felt like I was right there with the characters for the whole story- Una's motivations, Cullen's reactions and feelings, and Ellie through her ordeal, will stay with me forever. But beware, this isn't an easy read. The characters are young and inexperienced and their actions reflect that, but the story will bring you back to a time when you experienced your first love, and the joy and confusion that accompanied that. Una and Ellie's family is not perfect by any means, but what family is? For me, as I was reading these pages, I felt that MY HEART WENT WALKING was book of the author's heart. Perhaps a story that Ms. Hanan has had in her mind for years, because the words and emotions behind them seem heartfelt and thoughtful and real. I truly enjoyed reading this lovely story, and finished it with a full heart. I look forward to Ms. Hanan's future women's fiction books, and I can't wait for the audio version of this one!
This book was an unexpected treasure! Once I got into it, discovering each character's foibles, it was a compelling read that had me engaged until the last satisfying page. Despite the historical setting of the 1980s in Ireland, the storyline covered women's issues that are still relevant today in countries where teenage sex is frowned upon, especially with the consequence of pregnancy. Una's mother's reaction caused her daughter to flee rather than lose the baby to the church or a backyard abortion. In some countries, as we know, the girl is the one who shoulders the shame and responsibility for the pregnancy and is vilified, beaten and/or killed. Una is a courageous young girl who relies upon her wits to protect her unborn baby, sacrificing the love of her family and friends (especially Cullen).and creates a new life for herself. How gratifying the warmth and protection the childless couple affords her! The book is full of humour and heartbreak and many other emotions in between.. It's a terrific read. Thanks so much for the opportunity to read it and hearty congratulations to Sally on her debut novel.
This was a charming and beautifully written coming-of-age/family story set in 1980s Catholic Ireland where young women (and their parents) were ruled by the pope and not their hearts. There were some unexpected turns in places, so that my early guess about the ending did not pan out! It was an easy read (in a good way) and reminiscent of Maeve Binchy's books. Tissues were required in places, as they usually are for me for good books in this 'genre'. Thank you to the author, and may you write many more, and to NetGalley for a digital advance review copy.
A wonderful told story of two sisters in 1980's Ireland. who are separated from each by one sister's unplanned pregnancy. For those readers of Maeve Binchey, this book will draw you in from page one. Family secrets will keep these two sisters apart but when they need each other the most., they both realize what family means. A wonderful read.