The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

by

Ann Shaffer

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: Part 1: 20 Apr, 1946 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Juliet answers Isola's questions. She's 33 and has chestnut hair that's naturally curly. She says she used to live by the river, but now, she lives in a borrowed flat away from the river. Her old flat was bombed about a year ago but fortunately, Juliet wasn't home. Sidney took Juliet to see the rubble and Juliet could see her destroyed books. Sidney was able to retrieve a crystal paperweight engraved with Carpe Diem, but that was the only thing she was able to save.
When Sidney saves the paperweight for Juliet, he demonstrates his love for her and shows her that he values her desires, even if it's just to save one memento of her old life. Juliet's choice to answer Isola's questions suggests that she's also ready to take their friendship a step further away from just books.
Themes
Family, Parenting, and Legitimacy Theme Icon
Juliet writes about her childhood. She tells Isola about her parents' death and about living with her great-uncle, Dr. Ashton. She says she was bitter and awful to him and never got to apologize, as he died when she was seventeen. Dr. Ashton sent Juliet to boarding school when she was thirteen, where Juliet promptly decided to hate Sophie Stark. Sophie was very kind and when Juliet spat that she'd run away as soon as she figured out the trains, Sophie brought Juliet a train schedule. The Starks became close friends after that.
Sophie also shows that she's willing to help Juliet with whatever she needs, even something as silly as a train timetable. The fact that this leads to Juliet's 20-year relationship with the Stark family again indicates that one's chosen family can be even more supportive than one's birth family.
Themes
Family, Parenting, and Legitimacy Theme Icon
After school, Juliet and Sophie rented a flat in London and worked in a bookshop while Juliet wrote at night. Then, Juliet won an essay contest by writing about her fear of chickens. When the war broke out, the Spectator hired her to write the columns "Izzy Bickerstaff Goes to War." Sophie married Alexander and had her son, Dominic. Juliet says she does have a suitor who's charming, but says she's not used to him yet. She wonders if she prefers suitors in books. She says she'd like to visit Guernsey.
For Juliet, the "suitors in books" provide her a counterpoint to Mark and though she doesn't say what books she's referring to, they likely show her that men don't have to be as overbearing and rude as Mark is. With this, she can begin to compare Mark to others and decide if he's truly right for her or not.
Themes
Literature and Connection Theme Icon
Women, Marriage, and Work Theme Icon