The Guernsey Literary
and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Juliet is a very independent person who does not want to have to rely on a man, or anyone else. Juliet is also very caring, motherly, and loyal to the people that she loves, which is shown when she takes care of and adopts Kit. For example, Juliet says to Mark, "I will never marry someone who doesn't love Kit". (213) This shows that she doesn't need a man who doesn't treat her well in her life, but also shows her motherly characteristics.
This situation also involves a major conflict in the novel. This conflict includes Juliet and Mark Reynolds. Mark is an American publisher who loved Juliet and even asked her to marry him. Mark did not care much about what Juliet wanted, even though he wanted to be with her. Because Juliet is a very independent person, she knows that things would not work out with Mark. "Mark did his best to stop me, but I resisted him mushily, right to the bitter end." (163) Eventually, she called it quits when he told her to leave Kit.
Although Juliet is very intelligent, she sometimes can not see the more obvious things in her life. Throughout her time in Guernsey, it is quite clear that her and Dawsey have a connection, but she doesn't realize it until Sidney, her publisher and one of her best friends, points this out to her. "All that errant thought means is that you're in love with Dawsey yourself. Surprised? I'm not," (256) he writes to her. She then realizes that she does love Dawsey, and once she finds out that the feeling is mutual, she takes action.
Characterization: The characterization in this book was very unique and important. The author introduced us to the characters through letters to and from them. This shows the way they speak and their relationships to one another by showing what they share in secret knowing no one else will read the letter. Some of the things written in letters, the characters would not say aloud or to other people. For example, when Juliet throws a teapot at Gilly, Sidney says, "I'm only sorry that the tea wasn't hotter and you didn't aim lower." (21) Another example is when Sidney confides in Isola and she writes to him that she didn't give away his secret, "You should have seen how I didn't utter a word when Amelia said she thought you and Juliet were going to marry. I even nodded and slitted my eyes like I knew something they didn't, to throw them off the scent." (198) The fact that the characters write persona letters to each other also allows he reader to find out what the character thinks of themselves. Toward the beginning of the book, when Isola asks Juliet to describe herself, she shows that she can critique herself and doesn't by any means think that she is perfect. "It wasn't a windy day; my hair always looks that way. Naturally curly hair is a curse, and don't let anyone ever tell you different." (118)