Portrait of a Sister

Portrait of a Sister

by Laura Bradford
4.7 9

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Overview

Portrait of a Sister by Laura Bradford

Katie Beiler was always the follower to her twin sister Hannah’s lead. That is until Hannah left their Amish upbringing for an English life—leaving Katie to find her own footing in a world that no longer looks as it once did . . .
 
Katie has always imagined her life being just like Mamm’s. It’s why she chose baptism and why she’ll soon marry Abram Zook. But ever since Hannah left, the only thing that truly makes Katie smile is the sketchpad in which she indulges her talent for drawing faces—a sin that, if discovered, could get her shunned by her family, her friends, and even Abram. Yet Katie sees her secret pastime as the only way to quiet a growing restlessness she’d just as soon ignore. That is until their Mamm’s untimely death brings Hannah back home to Pennsylvania, with a new outlook on life, a man she adores, and, soon, an invitation for Katie to visit her in New York City.
 
Suddenly, Katie is experiencing a freedom she’s never had, in a world she never imagined. She’s also spending time in the company of a fellow dreamer, someone who sees her as strong and brave and makes her laugh. But it’s when Hannah shows Katie’s drawings to a gallery owner that she truly finds herself at a crossroads between the only life she’s ever known and the powerful lure of an unfamiliar future.

“A charming, well-told story of love and devotion between sisters.”
—New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hauck
 
“Kudos to Bradford for a complex and compelling story about faith, family, and love.”
—Sally Kilpatrick, author of Bless Her Heart

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496716460
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 06/26/2018
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 53,066
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Laura Bradford is also the author of several bestselling mystery series, including the Amish Mysteries. She lives in Mohegan Lake, New York, with her husband and their blended brood. Visit her website at laurabradford.com.

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Portrait of a Sister 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
kayteerufus 13 days ago
I am such a fan of Laura Bradford's cozy mysteries, both her Amish and not. There was no way I was not going to read Portrait of a Sister. I love her writing style and her storytelling. This book is everything I thought it would be and more. I was drawn in to Katie Beiler's story. Her twin sister Hannah is living in New York, not Amish as her family. Katie has been baptized and is living her life as she is expected to, but also caring for her dying mother. After her mother passes, Katie is now the lady of the house and as such must care for everyone. Katie's one passion besides her family is her artwork. I am amazed at how well this author was able to describe the sketches Katie had done so that I could see them myself. She is extremely talented at painting pictures with her words, much like Katie was able to sketch memories with her pencils. I was able to feel and understand Katie's pain at not being able to share her artwork, she drew their faces. I felt her pain at being the lady of the house as her twin sister was off living the life she wanted. I could almost experience her awe when she first sees New York city. All of this is due to author Laura Bradford's amazing ability to truly bring her stories to life. Not only were the twin sisters well written and their characters thoroughly sussed out, but others in the book were as well. I love Miss Lottie and she says something towards the end that resonated so much with me. She says of her choices in life " I made my choice. And it was a choice that came with ups and downs along the way.......... But all of it - the good, the bad, and everything in between - led me to where I am now - a place of contentment and wisdom." This is just the tip of the iceberg for me that made this book so personal even when it is so different from my own life. I think that is another special ability this author has. She is able to write books that can resonate with the reader, even when we are not Amish or when we are not involved in any cozy mystery murder (hopefully none of us are the later). This is what makes me go outside of my comfortable reading genre and grab Portrait of a Sister as soon as it came out, hold on with both hands and read until I was done. I wish I could give this more than 5 stars, but even a 100 would not be enough.
Dollycas 14 days ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts As a fan of this author’s cozy mysteries, I was very excited to learn she was branching out from the cozies to tell this story. Well, let me just say she hit it out of the park! Twins Katie and Hannah Beiler may look alike but now grown up their lives have taken very different directions. After their Rumspringa, Katie was baptized and prepared for her Amish life to continue. Hannah left her Amish life and moved to New York for an English way of life. Katie had a hard time after her sister left but she found solace in a sketch pad she purchased while away. She has a lot of talent, but drawing people’s faces is a sin that could have her shunned. When her mother dies, Hannah comes home. Hannah is so happy with her English life. She has a job, an apartment and a boyfriend. She wants Katie to join her in New York at least for a visit. When their father approves the trip for Katie, she is very unsure about his decision. She boards the bus and realizes what happens next could change her life forever. I was immediately drawn in by Katie’s story. With Hannah gone Katie has many responsibilities for her family. With her mother ill and then dying, those responsibilities grow exponentially. Her marriage to Abram Zook is on hold until her next younger sister can care for the family. Hannah is off living her life and Katie has dreams too. Reading this story was like riding an emotional roller coaster. The weight of Katie’s decisions was very heavy and her sister seemed to not realize the difference between the decision she made and the one that Katie was making. Ms. Bradford is an outstanding storyteller. She does her research and that brings the reality of this story to life. The struggle Katie was facing was detailed and reverberated off the pages. I loved reading both about Katie’s home life and her New York experience. I have never been to New York City and I am not Amish but I think my reactions would be similar to Katie’s. That city can be quite intimidating. I have always found the Amish way of life very interesting. We have a community not too far from us here in Wisconsin. I also enjoyed her descriptions of Katie’s drawings. The words sketched the pictures in my mind perfectly. This author has written strong, poignant, Portrait of A Sister. I absolutely loved this story. Katie’s story will stick with me for a long time. Fans of Laura Bradford’s Amish mysteries and Amish Fiction fans will enjoy this story. She has made a wonderful debut into Women’s Fiction too! This book exceeds a 5-star rating! It will definitely be on my Best Reads of 2018 list and receives my Paradise Rating!
KrisAnderson_TAR 17 days ago
Portrait of a Sister by Laura Bradford is set in Blue Ball, Pennsylvania in the heart of Lancaster County. Katie Beiler feels a deep loss when her mother passes away. Katie is now responsible for caring for her father, siblings and the related chores until (in the future) her sister, Margaret takes over when Katie marries her beau, Abram Zook. At night, though, when everyone else is asleep, Katie brings out her sketchpad. Katie enjoys drawing people, but she must keep her art a secret since it goes against their beliefs (Exodus 20:4). If it was discovered, it could get her shunned. Her twin sister, Hannah returns for their mamm’s funeral. While Katie was baptized into the Amish faith, Hannah left their community and lives in New York. After Hannah returns to New York, she sends a letter to Katie asking her to visit. When she left, Hannah “borrowed” two of Katie’s sketches and showed them to an art gallery owner. He would like to see more of Katie’s work. Katie finds herself in New York and spends her days exploring the city with Hannah’s friend, Eric. Katie’s artwork is a hit with the gallery owner and she is given the opportunity of a lifetime. Katie finds herself at a juncture where she needs to choose between the life she expected to lead, or one filled with artistic freedom. Portrait of a Sister is a book about choices and the internal struggle we go through in trying to decide. It is particularly difficult when it involves a twin. Katie misses her twin, but she made a commitment to the Amish faith when she joined the church. It is hard to decide especially when one option involves artistic freedom along with a new, unexplored world with her twin sister. Katie needs to figure out which path God wishes her to take. Portrait of a Sister is nicely written, and it is wholesome. There is no foul language or intimate situations. However, I found the pace to be slower than I would prefer and there was repetition of information. It was hard to like Katie. She seemed to be on a pity party. Katie compared herself to Hannah and found herself lacking (has issues with self-confidence). Hannah, on the other hand, is determined to enjoy life to the fullest. She wants the items and lifestyle she saw in magazines. There are good life lessons contained in Portrait of a Sister. We need to have faith, pray and God will provide answers in his own timing. I could understand and feel Katie’s struggle regarding her art. My rating for Portrait of a Sister is 3 out of 5 stars. Portrait of a Sister is a sweet story of faith, family and finding your place in the world.
MaureenST 20 days ago
The author kept me guess throughout the read as to whether our Amish girl Katie will stay in her community and give up her heart’s desire. Her twin has already left the home and you wonder if she will join her, especially when she is given a taste of living English. I love how we are shown what is really important and are we ready to grasp ahold and cling to what we think we want. There are some surprises here some very sad happenings, and I loved how the family seems to pull together when needed. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Kensington, and was not required to give a positive review.
Anonymous 23 days ago
great book
LisaKsBooksReviews 23 days ago
For the last five years, it’s very rare for me to read outside of the cozy mystery genre. It’s my favorite, and always my go to. However, when one of my favorite authors, Laura Bradford, stepped out of the cozy mystery footprint to write a novel, I had to read it. I am immensely happy that I did. PORTRAIT OF A SISTER is a story about choices. Old ones, new ones, life altering ones. Choices both right and wrong. No one is weighed down heavier with choices than Katie Beiler, who remained Amish when her twin sister, Hannah, left to join the world of the English. My emotions really ran the gambit with this story. I could feel Katie’s turmoil over her love of sketching the faces of the people she loves, though it goes against her Amish beliefs. Her feelings of being less than her sister. And, I shared in her anger with her sister, Hannah, for reasons I will leave you to discover in the book. Author Bradford handled Katie’s struggles with a skilled certainty. For the author to not be Amish, her grasp of what these people go through in their daily lives, and what they as a collective whole believe, serves as a tribute to her vast research into their lives, and the passion she feels for the people. PORTRAIT OF A SISTER is a must read for any fan of Amish fiction, and every fan of Laura Bradford’s accomplished writing.
poodlelover 24 days ago
Portrait of a Sister is an engaging story about being true to yourself. When Katie Beiler’s mamm dies, she is left to care for her sisters and brothers as well as her dat. Katie chose to be baptized and join the Amish church. Her twin sister, Hannah, moved to New York City before she was baptized and returns for their mamm’s funeral. She is insistent on Katie coming to visit her in New York, but Katie feels otherwise and wants to stay where she feels she belongs and marry Abram Zook. Katie’s mamm wanted her to find her smile again so her dat decides a trip to visit to Hannah may help. She goes reluctantly taking her beloved sketch pad with her. It is her secret as it is forbidden by the church. She doesn’t realize Hannah knows her secret and then goes too far in encouraging Katie’s talent. Will Katie find her smile again when she marries Abram only to give up her love of drawing? How will Katie ultimately answer Hannah’s question? “Are you going to stay because you have to or leave because you want to?” This story was full of hope and promise, and I look forward to reading more of Author Laura Bradford’s books.
poodlelover 24 days ago
Portrait of a Sister is an engaging story about being true to yourself. When Katie Beiler’s mamm dies, she is left to care for her sisters and brothers as well as her dat. Katie chose to be baptized and join the Amish church. Her twin sister, Hannah, moved to New York City before she was baptized and returns for their mamm’s funeral. She is insistent on Katie coming to visit her in New York, but Katie feels otherwise and wants to stay where she feels she belongs and marry Abram Zook. Katie’s mamm wanted her to find her smile again so her dat decides a trip to visit to Hannah may help. She goes reluctantly taking her beloved sketch pad with her. It is her secret as it is forbidden by the church. She doesn’t realize Hannah knows her secret and then goes too far in encouraging Katie’s talent. Will Katie find her smile again when she marries Abram only to give up her love of drawing? How will Katie ultimately answer Hannah’s question? “Are you going to stay because you have to or leave because you want to?” This story was full of hope and promise, and I look forward to reading more of Author Laura Bradford’s books.
ganderson523 24 days ago
Portrait of a Sister is an emotional story of how an Amish girl is torn between two worlds, her Amish world and the English world. Katie and Hannah Beiler are twins, the oldest children in their family. Now, young adults, Hannah left the Amish before being baptized and is living in New York City pursuing her dreams. She is able to visit and send letters to her family. Katie stayed home where she helps with her younger siblings and household chores. Her responsibilities become more demanding when their mother gets ill and is dying. Upon her death, Hannah returned home for the funeral and before she left, she encouraged Katie to go to New York with her. The problem is that Katie has been baptized and if she leaves, she will not be able to communicate with her family again. Katie has always been the quiet, thinking before leaping sister while Hannah is the leap before thinking one. Katie has some resentment built up towards Hannah for leaving. Katie has one secret- her drawing . She draws her family from memory at night by moonlight or candlelight. This is prohibited by the Amish faith and she could be banned for doing it but it is so important to her. Katie does visit Hannah and comes away with more confusion about her situation and what she should do. She enjoyed time spent with Eric, a friend of Hannah's while in the city. He was a good listener and was patient with her being overwhelmed by the busyness of the city. But, she feels a lot of responsibility for her family plus she is betrothed to Abram. Katie has a lot of decisions to make and much to come to grips with but while it is a stressful journey, it is rewarding to watch her grow. Thanks to Kensington Publishing for the ARC through NetGalley. The thoughts and opinions stated are mine only.