Portrait of a Sister

Portrait of a Sister

by Laura Bradford

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Overview

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: 179,910
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Laura Bradford is the author of the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, which debuted with clair and Present Danger, and the nationally bestselling Amish Mysteries, including A Churn for the Worse and Suspendered Sentence.

Amy Melissa Bentley is a professional stage and screen actress. A member of SAG-AFTRA, she has performed in Scotland, New York City, and throughout Connecticut.

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Portrait of a Sister 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
judiOH More than 1 year ago
this story is for every woman that has had to make the hard decisions in life, while someone else tries to tell them what to do. only yourself can do that. this is also a story of exploration of one's beliefs and dreams. the way of the Amish is shown in a very positive way. this a woman's fiction story that should not be missed. the writing is excellent. we all have decisions to make every day, this is the story of one womans's journey. she just happens to be Amish.
arkieclown More than 1 year ago
PORTRAIT OF A SISTER by Laura Bradford is the story of Katie Beiler, a young Amish girl, and the choices is has to make in order to find her true happiness. She has a twin sister, Hannah, and although they may look alike, except for a scar Hannah got as a child, that is where the resemblance ends. Hannah chose not to be baptized and became English going to live in New York City. Katie decided to remain Amish and was baptized into the church. Katie has always been a nurturer from a very early age. After the illness and eventual death of her Mamm, Katie steps in to take over the household chose and rearing of her younger siblings. After her sister Mary is able to oversee the children, she is planning to marry Abram Zook. It was during Katie’s rumspringa that she found her love of drawing and the desire to recreate happy moments of her life onto paper. Knowing all along that to do so was against their belief. Even after she was baptized, she continued to sneak around during the darkness of night to fulfill this urge to draw and kept her drawings hidden from eyes that would lead to her being shunned and her family disgraced. However, if she followed the dream of her artwork, unlike Hannah who left before she was baptized, Katie after being baptized would lose everything dear to her – her family, other than Hannah, and never being able to communicate with them again. Katie visits her sister in NYC and finds out about the English way of life, finds a true friend in a young man named Eric, and finds out that people not only admire her artwork but are willing to large sums of money to own a piece of it. She has to figure out what it right for her – to remain Amish or to turn English like Hannah did. Is drawing her key to true happiness or is her faith and family all she really needs? PORTRAIT OF A SISTER is the story of family, love, forgiveness, faith and being true to oneself. It is a well written story that will have you turning the pages to see how it turns out and falling in love with all the characters, flaws and all, along the way. It’s learning that happiness is wrapped in many different packages and not the same for all. It’s also learning that sometimes true happiness is right in front of you but it takes distance and searching to find it. Absolutely LOVED this book and I’m hoping it’s just the first of many more in this storyline! The author did an excellent job in telling the story. I definitely recommend it to anyone that loves a heartfelt story that will tug at your heart, loves Amish stories or just loves a great story period.
MeezCarrie More than 1 year ago
“Bravery comes in all shape and sizes, Katie.” There are some authors who can write in multiple genres and make it seem effortless. Laura Bradford is one such writer. I love her cozy mysteries, although I haven’t read her Amish cozy series yet, so Portrait of a Sister was a two genre hop for me (Amish & women’s fiction) from what I’m used to reading from Bradford. She more than succeeds in this new genre, too. Portrait of a Sister is emotional, it’s sweet, it’s romantic, and it’s GOOD. Best of all, it’s a clean read with faith elements from a general market publisher. More of this, please!! Katie Beiler is a complex character, despite her simple Amish/Plain roots. Her heart feels pulled in different directions, even as she continues to grieve the loss of her mother and her new responsibility to take care of her father and siblings. She’s at a pivotal point in her life when we meet her – wrestling with her dreams and God’s will and where (if at all) the two meet. She’s also struggling with how she sees herself, and what bravery looks like on I loved this dynamic to the story as well. Sometimes the bravest thing we can do is move outside of our comfort zones, and sometimes the bravest thing we can do is stay put and be ourselves. And y’all – I honestly didn’t know where Bradford would take Katie in the end – or where I wanted her to end up. The author does a suberb job of crafting that tension – in the character and in the reader – so we are fully invested in Katie & her story. The supporting characters were nearly as delightful as Katie, though she was my favorite. From the Pennsylvania cast to the New York players, all the characters were smartly drawn and layered. In fact, I would love to see another story (at least) set in New York with Hannah as the focus! Even though I was frustrated with Hannah for a large part of the book, Bradford wrote her with enough dimension that I want to see where her own story goes from here. Bottom Line: I love how the title of Portrait of a Sister applies in so many different ways to the book’s plot and its characters. The story and its gentle message really spoke to my heart, and Katie especially felt like a friend. My emotions ran the gamut much like Katie’s did, and I didn’t want to stop reading once I started. Laura Bradford created great tension without it becoming too heavy and also wove in a sweet message of faith without the story feeling preachy. A perfect read for fans of Amy Clipston, Shelley Shepard Gray, and Kathleen Fuller! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.)
MeezCarrie More than 1 year ago
“Bravery comes in all shape and sizes, Katie.” There are some authors who can write in multiple genres and make it seem effortless. Laura Bradford is one such writer. I love her cozy mysteries, although I haven’t read her Amish cozy series yet, so Portrait of a Sister was a two genre hop for me (Amish & women’s fiction) from what I’m used to reading from Bradford. She more than succeeds in this new genre, too. Portrait of a Sister is emotional, it’s sweet, it’s romantic, and it’s GOOD. Best of all, it’s a clean read with faith elements from a general market publisher. More of this, please!! Katie Beiler is a complex character, despite her simple Amish/Plain roots. Her heart feels pulled in different directions, even as she continues to grieve the loss of her mother and her new responsibility to take care of her father and siblings. She’s at a pivotal point in her life when we meet her – wrestling with her dreams and God’s will and where (if at all) the two meet. She’s also struggling with how she sees herself, and what bravery looks like on I loved this dynamic to the story as well. Sometimes the bravest thing we can do is move outside of our comfort zones, and sometimes the bravest thing we can do is stay put and be ourselves. And y’all – I honestly didn’t know where Bradford would take Katie in the end – or where I wanted her to end up. The author does a suberb job of crafting that tension – in the character and in the reader – so we are fully invested in Katie & her story. The supporting characters were nearly as delightful as Katie, though she was my favorite. From the Pennsylvania cast to the New York players, all the characters were smartly drawn and layered. In fact, I would love to see another story (at least) set in New York with Hannah as the focus! Even though I was frustrated with Hannah for a large part of the book, Bradford wrote her with enough dimension that I want to see where her own story goes from here. Bottom Line: I love how the title of Portrait of a Sister applies in so many different ways to the book’s plot and its characters. The story and its gentle message really spoke to my heart, and Katie especially felt like a friend. My emotions ran the gamut much like Katie’s did, and I didn’t want to stop reading once I started. Laura Bradford created great tension without it becoming too heavy and also wove in a sweet message of faith without the story feeling preachy. A perfect read for fans of Amy Clipston, Shelley Shepard Gray, and Kathleen Fuller! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.)
Debb23 More than 1 year ago
I cannot begin to say how good this book is. It draws you in immediately and takes you into a depth of feelings that I wasn't expecting Katie's Mamm passes and is left to step in and take her place with taking care of the house and children. We find that Katie has a twin who left the Amish ways before baptism and moved to New York. The emotions that are in Katie pull at you, anger that her mother has passed, a slight jealousy of her sister for doing what she wants, also anger at her sister for leaving her to face her hurt family, fear because she's an excellent artist who draws faces which is not permitted with the Amish. Katie gets the chance to visit her sister in New York, when you meet Hannah you realize quickly that she made the right decision, with Katie we are left wondering until the end. This book takes you on the trail of the emotions and is a wonderful read.
kayteerufus More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year ago
great book
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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.