Review – Portrait of a Sister by Laura Bradford @KensingtonBooks

Portrait of a Sister
Women’s Fiction/Amish
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (June 26, 2018)
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716469
ISBN-13: 978-1496716460
Kindle ASIN: B07638XPNG

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.

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!

About The Author

While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend’s house more than thirty years ago, Laura Bradford (a.k.a. Elizabeth Lynn Casey) fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do anything else.

Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, the Tobi Tobias Mystery Series, The Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries and the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey).

In June 2018, Laura will debut her first-ever women’s fiction novel, Portrait of a Sister.

Laura is a former Agatha nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, traveling, baking, and visiting the sea lions at the Central Park Zoo. For more information and all the latest book news, visit her website at

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Also by Laura Bradford

Coming November 27, 2018

Click here for more books by Laura Bradford.

Click Here for books written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

3 thoughts on “Review – Portrait of a Sister by Laura Bradford @KensingtonBooks

  1. Thank you for the review on “Portrait of a Sister” by Laura Bradford. Love this cover and can’t wait for the opportunity to read the book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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