Portrait of Love

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Charity Martin is a study in dichotomy. Her life as an Amish woman in an Ohio community should be simple. She should find a good man, marry, and take care of him, their home and their Kinder. But her childhood was wrapped up in the pursuit of art. Her God-given talent shines in the paintings she sells to English tourists in local shops.

And that's where her two worlds collide. Her love of David Zook rivals her love of capturing nature with her brushes, but to have one she must sacrifice the other. Charity's choice is made when her betrothed's bishop father forbids the marriage and ostracizes her.

Charity finds a new home in a Nebraska community with the help of kind and accepting Bishop Byler, who hires her to take over teaching duties at the small Amish school. But will she find universal acceptance there? More importantly -- will she ever find love again?

Meanwhile, Bishop Byler's granddaughter, Wilma, who is known as one of the best bakers in the community, sets her sights on James Troyer, a recent arrival in the Nebraska village. But James, intrigued by Charity's talent, has set his sights on the young artist. Charity doesn't want the situation to devolve into a competition, but Wilma is sure that James is her soul mate. In jealousy she throws the spotlight on Charity's shortcomings and 'prideful' artistic pursuits.

Will James choose the artist or the baker, and what of Charity's continued feelings for David? And will she once again have to sacrifice her true calling in order to compose a portrait of love in her own life?

The Characters

Being the eldest child often means having more responsibility. With four younger siblings, Sarah Beth has a firm understanding of the weight she must bear.

After the passing of her Grossmammi -- a loss almost as devastating as the one the King children endured 12 years earlier when both of their parents were killed in a harvesting accident -- Sarah Beth, 24, is left to look after her special needs sister, Cora, 17, and only brother, Toby, 14. As for her 12-year-old twin sisters, Lovina and Luann, other family members felt it would be best for the girls to live with relatives in another church district, decimating the King family once again.

Family is everything to Sarah Beth! And she is determined to get hers back together ... even if that means putting off her thoughts of courtship and starting a family of her own. But why does her heart beat wildly when she meets her handsome new neighbor, Elias Stutzman? Is she drawn to the allure of his deep blue eyes ... or maybe it is the secrets they are hiding?

Life has been anything but easy for Elias ... abandoned by his Mamm who jumped the fence to Englisch life when he was just a kid ... passed along from one distant relative to another ... running with the wrong group of "friends" who always kept him on the outer edge of their circle.

Now, at 29 years old, Elias longs to be accepted for the hardworking man he is today and leave his past behind him. Hickory Meadows, known for its welcoming folks and strong sense of community, could give him the home he has always dreamed of having -- and possibly a family of his own.

But the shocking damage done to his buggy shop soon after his arrival makes it very clear that he is not welcome. Elias knows only a few people, so who would try to run him out of the church district? Maybe it was just a bunch of bored kids. Perhaps he pushed Sara Beth, his attractive new neighbor with the feisty spirit, a little too far. Or has someone from Elias's past discovered his new life?