Author with local ties publishes 'Tangled Twins'


TOWNSHEND >> Author Katherine Barnes, Ph.D, knows a thing or two about entangled relationships, either forged or family. With a doctorate in marriage and family therapy, she has seen first-hand the impact painful relationships has on those involved. Barnes draws from her experience as a therapist and her own entangled relationship with her twin sister in her recently published short novel "Tangled Twins," a tale of abandonment, low self-esteem, high aspirations, sibling discord, and life's sneaky way of recasting one's personality. Although the story is fictional, the relationship between twin sisters Tabbie and Dorcas is loosely based on Barnes' own relationship with her more dominant twin sister and her own journey to equalize the balance of confidence between the two.

As a child, Barnes spent her summers living on a farm on Boston Post Road in Townshend, a family refuge from the busy city life of West Harford, Conn. It was bought by her father in the early '60s during the cold war, fearful that West Hartford would be a target if ever the U.S. were bombed. Initially a dairy farm, the farmer sold it to her father after the farmer's 5-year-old son was run over and killed by a farmhand driving a tractor, Barnes' dad converted it a Christmas tree farm through the Land Trust in order to keep it agricultural, The Farm, as they fondly referred to it, became a family gathering place over the years as his children, now grown, were scattered throughout the nation. At the last family reunion held there 50 members congregated at the family homestead.

Tangled Twins is also set in Vermont where the girls are raised by their aunt and their dad after their mom abandons them to become an actress. Dorcas' sole focus is on becoming an actress like her mom while Tabby takes a traditional path becoming a school teacher and having children. The role of the resilient and strong twin slowly switches as life takes its toll on the twins. The final twist leaves the reader in suspense after a car accident, leaving one to wonder who survives.

Barnes has published three children's books: Daddy Misses Kisses, Candy at War; Son, A Soldier's Work Is Never Done. Her son is a lieutenant colonel in the Jag Corps and has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her other children's book is Angels Protect Giraffes. She worked as a preschool special education teacher and wrote, Love Me, and Teach Me, Hug Me for handicapped teens and their parents. She has also published poems in several literary magazines.

Barnes now lives in Georgia with her Georgian born and bred husband Travis Barnes, but she continues to visit The Farm in Townshend whenever she gets a chance.

Barnes is actively promoting her book, placing them in local libraries such as Newfane's Moore Free Library and the Townshend Public Library, and Brattleboro's Brooks Memorial Library. It is also available on

Contact Cicely M. Eastman at 802-254-2311 ext. 261.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions