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4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  227 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
The captivating chronicle of four generations of the Sandonitsky family - immigrants from a Polish ghetto. This is the powerful drama of their struggle to achieve the American dream without losing their spiritual hreitage as success drives them westward to Oakland, California. A complelling novel about human needs, passions and conflicts which reach tempestuous heights.
Mass Market Paperback
Published May 1st 1991 by Bantam (first published 1979)
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(showing 1-30)
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Tiffany S
Mar 07, 2011 Tiffany S rated it really liked it
I am a HUGE fan of 'historical fiction' and all books even slightly within that genre. I LOVED Portraits. It spans over 50 years and was big, thick, and juicy. I read wicked fast so any book that is GOOD and has a lot of pages makes me ONE VERY happy woman!
Bani M
May 07, 2011 Bani M rated it did not like it
Shelves: books-finished, own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 02, 2012 Ruth rated it liked it
C1980: Fabulous generational saga. This review says it all, really – “"An intriguing rags-to-riches tale of an immigrant Jewish family in America... Freeman has demonstrated her narrative gifts in previous works and proves them once again in this four-generation novel with its varied characters and lively plot and nostalgic settings." --San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle” Inspirational when you think that Ms Freeman started her writing career at the age of 55! Cynthia Freeman is actually her ...more
Joyce Xiu
Oct 19, 2015 Joyce Xiu rated it it was amazing
It was a long read but it filled the dull hours of my days. I loved how Freeman managed to narrate the life of a four generation family. When I am nearing the end, I would stop sometimes and realize how I actually watched everyone grow before my eyes. Jacob was just a little boy before but then he's a man with grandchildren now. It's like I became immortal and witnessed the life of everyone in that family. I loved every piece of it. The emotions that this book evoked in me is so wonderful. Thank ...more
Isabelle Decher
Sep 16, 2009 Isabelle Decher rated it it was ok
Enjoyed - Jewish family immigrated to US. Story passes on to children & Grandchildren.
Tells of their struggles and their finding wealth but not happiness. Their children and
grandchildren take many different paths. Some find wealth & happiness and some don't find either. Very interesting reading.
Mackie Kazdoy
Oct 01, 2012 Mackie Kazdoy rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Cynthia Freeman is a master at writing characters that you want to know or feel like you already do. This book begins with a Jewish lady immigrating to the U.S. in the late 1800's. She tells the story of 4 generations of this family ending in around the 1960's. I didn't want it to end!
Apr 23, 2012 Lauren rated it it was amazing
I love this book!! I saved it out of the library trash bin since it couldn't be sold at their used book sale. It really wraps you into the family drama and life over the generations. I read this book usually every year on vacation. Great beach and rainy/lazy day companion!
Feb 23, 2012 Betty rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is a family saga covering five generations of a Jewish family. The major characters are very well developed. I always enjoy Cynthia Freeman's books, but this has been my favorite.
Cindy Martino
Oct 27, 2016 Cindy Martino rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book by cynthia freeman...I think I've read them all..this was really good it was about three generations..great read
Diane Wachter
Portraits, Cynthia Freeman, PB-B, @ 81, 1983. A rags to riches novel about a Jewish family coming to America. Okay.
Tracy Tibbels
Nov 18, 2011 Tracy Tibbels rated it really liked it
This took a long time for me to read--a little over three weeks, and I'm usually a quick reader. But it was VERY involved--great character development! I really enjoyed it!!!
Linda Koski
Oct 22, 2013 Linda Koski rated it really liked it
A book from my youth... But this lady lured me in so well and removed "big" books from my list of intimidations.
Ashlie Gerber
Jun 15, 2016 Ashlie Gerber rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was beautiful. It is the story of a family through its many generations. I related to the characters from the first chapter. It was a beautiful story of life, love, and tragedy.
Apr 25, 2016 Sharon added it
This was just an entertaining read that kept you wondering how the family would deal with the overbearing mother. It was over 800 pages and a very heavy book to hold. I did like it.
Feb 09, 2010 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Loving this. Totally addicted its like reality tv but in a book. 4 generations of families and their kids & their jobs etc. LOVING IT! Just found out theres a follow up ...
Nov 29, 2014 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read...

Loved it, a definite page turner. Just a bit long. But in the end, could not put it down .
May 19, 2011 Anna rated it it was amazing
This is my best friends fav so i read it, I have nothing in common with these characters but i am entralled. I read the book one ever two years.
Oct 06, 2012 Nori rated it really liked it
really enjoyed the book, thanks Mackie for suggesting it!
Sonja Brose
Mar 16, 2016 Sonja Brose rated it it was amazing
Her best book. Have had my copy since I was 18 which is 18 years ago. Truly a beautiful story
Jul 25, 2008 Suzanne rated it liked it
I loved Ms. Freeman's multi-generational sagas when I was entering the adult reading world.
Carrie Yankello
May 13, 2010 Carrie Yankello rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favorite books. Have read it 4 times
Oct 29, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it
A good Jewish family saga.
Suzanne Michelle
Aug 15, 2013 Suzanne Michelle rated it it was amazing
I think this was the longest book I ever read n I enjoyed it
Jami Collier
Oct 15, 2012 Jami Collier rated it it was amazing
read this years ago.....saw it today in a used book store.....great family saga!
Jun 08, 2013 Peggy added it
4th one, I think I really like this one
Dec 27, 2014 Mom rated it it was amazing
Love historical fiction!
Dec 04, 2016 Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second time I have read this book (read it when it was first published), so that says something. I loved it both times and became engrossed in the family saga. However, I did notice this time that the writing style made me a bit nervous, as it does jump around and moves the story along in years with just one sentence. For some reason this unsettled me while reading it. If you like family sagas, then this is a must read book.
Lima rated it really liked it
Sep 16, 2014
Carole M.
Carole M. rated it it was amazing
Mar 03, 2015
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Immigrants and their peculiar thoughts 1 2 May 02, 2014 03:08AM  
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Beatrice Cynthia Freeman  (January 10, 1915 - October 22, 1988), pseudonym of Bea Feinberg, was an  American  novelist. She was born in  New York City, where, as a young girl, she began writing books but abandoned writing to pursue a career running an  interior decoration business. When poor health forced her to give up her business, she decided to dust off an old manuscript from childhood but ...more
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