- Islands of Time is a story of the sweet and not so sweet moments of first love between two people from different backgrounds. How did a first love affect you?
- Islands of Time is also about summer people and year-round people in Downeast Maine. Have you ever felt a similar sense of separation between them and us?
- How do Becky and Ben change from when they meet the first time and then again later in their lives? Did you fall in love with Ben too? What attracted you to him? Did you like the way he treated Becky, and conversely, the way she treated him? What aspects of their love do you think are timeless and epitomize what we look for in a romance?
- How did you feel when you read the passages about Becky’s first sexual experience? Did the intimacy of the description embarrass you; were you surprised by what happened?
- What does the title of the book mean?
- Did the water and boat scenes evoke a summer memory of being on vacation, perhaps at a house on a lake or the ocean when you were young?
- How are Abby and Monica important to the story? Do you identify with any of the characters in Islands of Time?
- How does Becky fight against the culture of her time? Why is she so vulnerable? How does she come to terms with the death of her father and how does her relationship with her mother change? How was your relationship to your parents similar or different?
- Maine was at one time self-sufficient and exported goods around the world. Now the state motto is “Vacationland.” In what ways may this shift affect Maine people? Have you ever worked in a service-based job? If so, what did you like or not like about the work?
- Did you expect the ending, or did it surprise you? How do you feel about it?
Buy the book
About the Author
In 1948, Barbara Kent Lawrence fell in love with Mount Desert Island as a summer kid, and in 1979 she became a “year-round summer person,” a status more compelling and complex than she could then have imagined. In 1998 she wrote her dissertation: Working Memory: The Influence of Culture on Aspirations about the gap between the high rate of achievement Maine’s fourth grade students evidenced on national tests, and the low rate at which they went on to college. Lawrence has since written books about education and eating disorders in men and she’s working on a manuscript about her British family during World War II. She draws on her love of Maine and her experience as a researcher and writer for her first novel Islands of Time. Though Lawrence no longer lives in Maine year-round, she spends as much time as possible on Mount Desert Island.