Barbara Kent Lawrence
The Other Island by Maine writer Barbara Kent Lawrence

Barbara Kent Lawrence

Islands of Time is Barbara Kent Lawrence's sixth book and first work of fiction. She also written Bitter Ice: A Memoir of Love, Food, and Obsession; The Hungry i: A Workbook for Partners of Men with Eating Disorders; The Hermit Crab Solution; Dollars & Sense 1: The Cost Effectiveness of Small Schools; Dollars & Sense 2: Lessons from Cost-Effective Small Schools, and many articles about education.

Lawrence earned a BA in anthropology from Bennington College, an MA in sociology from New York University, and an EdD from Boston University. She taught anthropology and history in a boys’ high school, then cofounded and ran a real-estate and construction firm in Northeast Harbor, Maine. After receiving her EdD., she taught writing and education courses at Northeastern and Lesley universities in Boston.

Her dissertation, Working Memory: The Influence of Culture on Aspirations Focused on Schools on Mount Desert Island, Maine, won the National Rural Education Association award for the dissertation of the year in 1998, and later became the foundation for Islands of Time. While a dissertation may seem an unlikely underpinning for a love story between a summer girl and a year-round island boy, Islands of Time reflects the tensions inherent in the coastal Maine culture that she studied as a summer kid, as a year-round resident in downeast Maine, and then in formal research.

Bill Carpenter, author of A Keeper of Sheep and The Wooden Nickel, wrote that “Islands of Time provides an amazing insight into the longstanding cultural divisions of the Maine coast and the possibility of transcending them through human compassion and understanding. New York Times–bestselling author and swordfishing captain Linda Greenlaw wrote, "I really like [Islands of Time]. The story, about a girl from away spending her summer in Maine, then coming back to Maine to reclaim herself, resonates with me. It’s also a love song to the people and landscape of Maine.”

Watch an interview with Barbara Kent Lawrence on Write Now with Gayle C. Heney.