The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

by

Ann Shaffer

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Isola Pribby Character Analysis

Isola grows herbs and makes elixirs on Guernsey, where she lives with her goat and her parrot. She's one of the first Society members to write to Juliet. Isola describes herself as tall and not very beautiful, which she believes is why she's never had a romantic encounter with a man. Because she's never been in love, Isola adores romantic novels, especially Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice. Isola is eccentric, charming, and has little regard for politeness; she asks Juliet personal questions very soon into their correspondence and questions Sidney about why he doesn't plan to marry Juliet. Though she has no issue with Sidney being gay and promises to keep it a secret, her response does betray that she's not the best at keeping secrets: she lets slip that Booker is also secretly gay. Isola's prospects begin to look up when she learns that the letters her Granny Pheen left her were written by Oscar Wilde; the money she'll earn from publishing royalties will allow her to buy a motorcycle. Isola wants nothing more than to see her friends happy, which is why she's so willing to care for Kit, help Juliet with her book, and near the end of the novel, attempts to facilitate a romance between Dawsey and Remy. She does this after Sidney's sub-editor introduces her to the Miss Marple mystery books. Having already given up on her brief study of phrenology, Isola latches onto Miss Marple's habit of quietly watching and recording what she sees. Though Isola tries her best to emulate Miss Marple and look for clues that Dawsey loves Remy, Isola fails to recognize all the photos of Juliet, the letters from her, and Juliet's handkerchief as evidence that Dawsey loves Juliet, not Remy. She's thrilled nonetheless when Juliet and Dawsey get engaged.

Isola Pribby Quotes in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society quotes below are all either spoken by Isola Pribby or refer to Isola Pribby. 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:
Literature and Connection Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dial edition of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society published in 2008.
Part 1: 22 Apr, 1946 Quotes

The States didn't want the parents to come into the school itself—too crowded and too sad. Better to say good-byes outside. One child crying might set them all off.

So it was strangers who tied up shoelaces, wiped noses, put a nametag around each child's neck. We did up buttons and played games with them until the buses could come.

Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: 12 Jun, 1946 Quotes

I also know that she cherished you as her family, and she felt gratitude and peace that her daughter, Kit, was in your care. Therefore, I write so you and the child will know of her and the strength she showed to us in the camp.

Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:
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Isola Pribby Character Timeline in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The timeline below shows where the character Isola Pribby appears in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part One, 17th-18th February, 1946
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...meeting. Amelia says that before the Society's inception, she didn't know any members other than Isola and Eben very well. She says that most of the members hadn't read literature before,... (full context)
Part One, 19th February, 1946
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Isola Pribby, the sergeant-at-arms for the Society, writes to Juliet. She praises Juliet for writing a... (full context)
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Isola tells Juliet about herself. She lives in a small cottage near Amelia's farm and has... (full context)
Part One, 20th February, 1946
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...Dawsey because of some soap. She mentions that she's received wonderful letters from Amelia and Isola, and had no idea that the Germans didn't even permit letters to or from Guernsey... (full context)
Part One, 28th February, 1946
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Juliet writes to Isola, thanking her for her letter. She says that the first time she read Wuthering Heights,... (full context)
Part One, 12th March, 1946
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...island, but the truth is bad enough. In April of 1942, Elizabeth gave birth. Eben, Isola, Amelia, and Dawsey attended the birth. Christian wasn't there; he'd been sent to the continent... (full context)
Part One, 25th March, 1946
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...Dawsey and mentions that she's received two letters from Miss Adelaide Addison and others from Isola and Clovis. Because of those letters, her article is coming along well. Juliet shifts topics... (full context)
Part One, 31st March, 1946
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...love with Dawsey and Eben, wants Amelia to adopt her, and would like to adopt Isola. She writes that she spends all her time waiting for the post to come and... (full context)
Part One, 7th April, 1946
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...He writes that at first, he didn't have any interest in reading. It wasn't until Isola gave him Past and Present by Thomas Carlyle that he learned to love it. Though... (full context)
Part One, 18th April, 1946
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Isola writes to Juliet with some "highly personal" questions. She says that Dawsey told her not... (full context)
Part One, 20th April, 1946
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Juliet answers Isola's questions. She's 33 and has chestnut hair that's naturally curly. She says she used to... (full context)
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Juliet writes about her childhood. She tells Isola about her parents' death and about living with her great-uncle, Dr. Ashton. She says she... (full context)
Part One, 22nd April, 1946
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...it was all alone, and remarked that he never felt alone. Eben says he's asked Isola to write about what happened at the school, as Elizabeth slapped Adelaide. Juliet promptly sends... (full context)
Part One, 24th April, 1946
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Isola is happy to tell Juliet about Elizabeth slapping Adelaide. The U.S. wanted to minimize the... (full context)
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...seeing Elizabeth slap Adelaide seemed to snap the kids out of their fear and sadness. Isola says that it was a sad day and she's glad she didn't have children. She... (full context)
Part One, 13th May, 1946
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...Juliet; she's thrilled that Juliet is coming to Guernsey. The entire Society is excited and Isola has been asking everyone she knows to send Juliet letters about the occupation. They've decided... (full context)
Part One, 14th May, 1946
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Isola tells Juliet that she's getting the house ready for Juliet's arrival and has told all... (full context)
Part One, 16th May, 1946
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...lists how everyone on Guernsey is preparing for her arrival. He's been trying to keep Isola alive, as Isola has been up on the roof of Elizabeth's cottage looking for loose... (full context)
Part One, 19th May, 1946
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...She'll arrive on the evening mail boat and will wear a red wool cape so Isola can recognize her. She's very excited to meet everyone in Guernsey. (full context)
Part Two, 22nd May, 1946
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...Port, Juliet was excited to see all her friends. Juliet could recognize all of them: Isola, Eben, Eli, Dawsey, and Kit. When she finally stepped onto land, Isola immediately hugged her.... (full context)
Part Two, 27th May, 1946
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Eben, Eli, Dawsey, and Isola have taken Juliet all around the island. The architecture is impressive and varied. St. Peter... (full context)
Part Two, 1st July, 1946; Wednesday; Friday
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...with him. Sidney wants to have a supper party too so he can meet Eben, Isola, Dawsey, and Amelia. Juliet is thrilled and explains that Isola will host Sidney. On Friday,... (full context)
Part Two, 7th July, 1946
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...last night and cooked the entire meal herself. Sidney is having a great time with Isola. Apparently she asked him last night when he was going to marry Juliet, and he... (full context)
Part Two, 8th July, 1946
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Isola writes Sidney and thanks him for visiting and talking with her. She invites him back... (full context)
Part Two, 9th July, 1946
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...Dawsey is preoccupied with Remy at the moment. She also asks what Sidney said to Isola, since Isola recently berated her for not telling her about Pride and Prejudice and other,... (full context)
Part Two, 1st August, 1946
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Isola writes to Sidney. She's now the Secretary of the Society and wanted to share her... (full context)
Part Two, 3rd August, 1946
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Juliet writes to Sidney. She's distraught because he recently sent Isola a book on phrenology, which Isola is taking very seriously. Isola has insulted several neighbors.... (full context)
Part Two, 5th August, 1946
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Isola writes Sidney to thank him for the book on phrenology. She says she's been studying... (full context)
Part Two, 9th August, 1946
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Juliet congratulates Sophie on her new pregnancy. She tells Sophie that Isola is sending a bottle of "Pre-Birthing Tonic," and Sophie shouldn't drink it. Juliet says that... (full context)
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Juliet says she asked Isola about Dawsey since he won't talk. Isola is becoming disillusioned with phrenology; she commented that... (full context)
Part Two, 11th August, 1946
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...& Stark will very soon be the most famous publisher in the West. Last night, Isola's goat ate her notes, so she read letters that a man had written to her... (full context)
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...cat's life as a French cat. The story told in the letters was magnificent. After Isola finished reading the letters, Juliet asked to look at them and noticed that they were... (full context)
Part Two, 13th and 14th August, 1946
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...stopped in Guernsey. He's sending a handwriting analyst with some of Oscar Wilde's other letters. Isola then writes to Sidney. She believes the letters were written by Oscar Wilde and thinks... (full context)
Part Two, 18th August, 1946
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Juliet recounts for Sidney the experience of having the handwriting expert come visit Isola. With much pomp and circumstance, the man declared the letters the work of Oscar Wilde.... (full context)
Part Two, 23rd August, 1946
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...Billee Bee to collect the letters. Billee Bee said that Sidney requested the originals, and Isola would only agree to such a thing because Sidney asked. Juliet says that everyone likes... (full context)
Part Two, 24th August, 1946, 2:00 a.m.
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...Susan for her tip about Billee Bee. The telegram came just in time: Kit and Isola were out gathering herbs early in the morning and Juliet was inside with Billee Bee... (full context)
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...the letters were safe. Dawsey opened the smokehouse door and found Billee Bee inside with Isola's angry parrot. Juliet accused Billee Bee of stealing the letters and threw out some possible... (full context)
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...island. Billee Bee took the toy ferret from Kit as she left. Juliet says that Isola and Kit were out so early because after reading Billee Bee's head, Isola was concerned:... (full context)
Part Two, 26th August, 1946
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...to publish the letters before Sidney could. Later, Sidney sends a telegram. He believes that Isola, Kit, and Juliet all deserve medals and says he'll never leave town again. (full context)
Part Two, 29th August, 1946
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...Sophie that Sidney's sub-editor has visited to copy the letters and they're now safe in Isola's biscuit tin. Juliet says that she was calm the day they discovered Billee Bee, but... (full context)
Part Two, 6th September, 1946
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Isola writes to Sidney. She's very happy that he's coming to look at Granny Pheen's letters;... (full context)
Part Two, Detection Notes of Miss Isola Pribby
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Isola writes that this notebook is from Sidney. She's going to write only facts in it... (full context)
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For the next few days, Isola notices nothing. On Thursday, Remy comes to visit with a letter from the French government.... (full context)
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On Friday, Isola tests her idea to look at things sideways. She accompanied Dawsey, Juliet, and Remy to... (full context)
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On Saturday night, Isola records her observations from the picnic. As everyone was poking the fire, Eben made an... (full context)
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...with his toe, asked if she felt better, and she said yes. Because of this, Isola decided to stop worrying about her. Isola decided to look for evidence of Dawsey's feelings... (full context)
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Isola recounts what took place on Monday. She checked trees for carved hearts on her way... (full context)
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To make herself feel better, Isola called on Juliet. Juliet invited Isola in and asked her what was wrong. Isola began... (full context)
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Isola followed slowly and then hid herself by the library. Juliet entered the library, where Dawsey... (full context)