Cake

Julie, Stella, and Caroline Character Analysis

Liz’s female coworkers. They attempt to be supportive when she returns to the office after her maternity leave but ultimately project their own experiences onto her instead of listening. They each reminisce about the boredom of being a stay-at-home mother and think Liz must have been “counting the days” until she could come back to the office. Liz senses “some alliance wavers and falls” when she admits that she actually enjoyed staying at home and they can’t relate to her experiences. They also take Liz out to lunch and ask her questions about Daniel, but appear uninterested in her imitation of him and then move on to discussing the importance of weaning. One of the women makes a comment about how children “can’t be dictating everything,” which angers Liz. Their attitudes make Liz feel alienated and out of place, lacking a support network.

Julie, Stella, and Caroline Quotes in Cake

The Cake quotes below are all either spoken by Julie, Stella, and Caroline or refer to Julie, Stella, and Caroline. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Guilt Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribe edition of Cake published in 2012.
Cake Quotes

Another set of glass doors: her own boundary gates this time, back at her old office, still with the two dusty ficus trees in the foyer, unchanged; perhaps they’re plastic, she’s never noticed before. Her work colleagues all at the same desks, Stella at the front reception, same smell of cardboard and carpet vacuum powder; only the calendar has been changed.

Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:
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‘I mean,’ she fumbles, feeling her face flush, ‘I’m very glad to be back, of course, but I actually like staying home. I’ve liked it, I mean.’ She senses, as they nod and smile, that this is not the answer they want.

Related Characters: Liz (speaker), Julie, Stella, and Caroline, Tim and Dave
Page Number: 152
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Liz fishes out her wallet and finds a five-dollar note, snaps it shut before she has to look at the photo of Daniel tucked in there. His shy smile like a boobytrap. He’d have his thumb in his mouth right not. Not smiling, that’s for sure.

Related Characters: Liz, Daniel, Julie, Stella, and Caroline
Related Symbols: Five-Dollar Note
Page Number: 156
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Liz concentrates on swallowing the claggy paste of cheese and pasta in her mouth. God in heaven, she thinks, forcing it down, if anyone else mentions fucking cake again today I’m going to burst a blood vessel.

Related Characters: Liz, Julie, Stella, and Caroline
Related Symbols: Cake, Lasagna
Page Number: 162
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Julie, Stella, and Caroline Character Timeline in Cake

The timeline below shows where the character Julie, Stella, and Caroline appears in Cake. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Cake
Capitalism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
Expectations vs. Reality Theme Icon
...powder.” Her coworkers welcome her back to “the land of the living.” Liz’s female coworkers, Julie, Stella, and Caroline , ask all about Daniel. Liz shows them pictures of him on the swing and... (full context)
Motherhood Theme Icon
Expectations vs. Reality Theme Icon
In the afternoon, Julie, Stella, and Caroline take Liz out to lunch at an Italian restaurant. Liz fights the urge to run... (full context)
Guilt Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
Expectations vs. Reality Theme Icon
The conversation turns to breastfeeding. Julie, Stella, and Caroline all agree on the importance of early weaning, because children shouldn’t be “dictating” their mothers’... (full context)