1. What did you learn about Juliet Ashton from the exchange of letters? Is she real to you or a fictitious character?
As I have stated prior, to me Juliet is real. She is very amusing, caring, loyal, unselfish, intelligent, loves books and a risk taker. So far, the most important thing I have learned about Juliet through the exchange of her letters is that she is an honest person. When she was willing to have Bella Taunton give a character reference to Mrs. Maugery it showed she was willing to be fair and honest, because she knew she did not especially hold high esteem in Lady Bella Taunton's eyes. Would you be willing to take such a risk, of allowing someone you know may not give a good reference to someone else about yourself? That was a calculated risk Juliet took, and a very good way to win Mrs. Maugery's trust.
2. What was it about Charles Lamb that attracted Dawsey Adams to his work?
Dawsey says on pg. 9, "For all his bright and turning mind, I think Mr. Lamb must have had a great sadness in his life. Charles Lamb made me laugh during the German Occupation, especially when he wrote about the roast pig. The Gurensey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society came into being because of a roast pig we had to keep secret from the German soldiers, so I feel a kinship to Mr. Lamb."
I see Dawsey being able to relate to Mr. Lamb, in the sense they have both experienced sad times, yet were able to get through them with a bit of humor. As we know through Lamb's Essays, he lived through witnessing his own sister take the life of his mother, due to a mental breakdown. Sad times I dare say. "I never would have made it if I could not have laughed. It lifted me momentarily out of this horrible situation, just enough to make it livable."
-Viktor Frankl, re:surviving the Nazi death camps
Juliet and Charles Lamb along with many others were able to survive and help others with their humor in such unbearable times.
3. What part did Elizabeth McKenna play in the creation of the literary society?
As Amelia stated on pg.49, "..our dear Elizabeth McKenna, who manufactured the story on the spot, bless her quick wits and silver tongue."
Can you imagine, Elizabeth a small lady as described, stepping up and concocting a lie to the German soldiers, knowing she was taking a risk of being jailed?
4. Why does Mrs. Maugery hesitate to have the Society participate in Juliet's article on the society for the Times?
pg. 38 Mrs. Maugery says, "I realize that our name, the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, is an unusual one and could easily be subjected to ridicule. Would you assure me you will not be tempted to do so? The Society members are very dear to me, and I do not wish them to be perceived as objects of fun by your readers."
Since Mrs. Maugery states a friend of hers had sent her a copy of Izzy Bickerstaff Goes to War
, and while she found the book informative as it was entertaining and amusing, she was concerned about "the amusing tone."
Amelia did not want Juliet to use their Society for fodder to her readers.
What do you think finally convinced her to approve of the interviews?
I believe the references from Bella Taunton and Rev. Simon Simples is what convinced Amelia to trust Juliet. Although, Juliet was a tad offended by her suspicions, she understood, and complied to honor her request to prove her worthiness. I feel this allowed Amelia to trust Juliet with their Society.
I have to say in typing Simon Simples, I had to giggle, because I am imagining Mary Anne thinking up names for her characters in this book, and deciding on this name. For me if I turn it around it reminds me of the riddle, Simple Simon meet a pie man...... Some more of Mary Anne/Juliet's humor peeking through.