The Other Island: Ben’s Story by Barbara Kent Lawrence

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 Now, we get the rest of the story. Ben’s story.

I loved Barbara Kent Lawrence’s novel, Islands of Time, and immediately after finishing it, I picked up the sequel, The Other Island: Ben’s Story. Both books were published by the Maine Author’s Alliance.

In Islands of Time, Becky Granger tells her story of love, loss, and a lifetime of incredible sorrow. Her family members are “summer people” on a Maine island when she falls in love, at the age of 14, with Ben Bunker, an island boy. Everything goes wrong, and Becky mourns that lost love for the rest of her life, through two unsuccessful marriages. And then she moves permanently to that island, and reconnects with Ben, although he is very happily married.

There’s a lot more to the story, of course, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. For sure, you should read Islands of Time before you tackle Ben’s Story.

After reading Becky’s story, Ben’s story will be familiar, but very different from Becky’s. I particularly liked the details about the fishing industry in this novel. Ben is a fisherman and a marine biologist, and we learn a lot about the challenges facing our commercial fishermen in this book.

But it’s that love story, Becky’s story and Ben’s story, that makes this so compelling. My friend, and another great novelist, Paul Doiron, captured it well when he wrote that Ben’s Story is “a moving and beautifully written novel of Maine coastal fishing communities.” I agree Paul!

I would add compelling, honest and true, and so very real, to that description.

You can learn more about these books, and Lawrence's other books, at www.barbaralawrence.com.

 

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