Part 2, September 17 Summary
Juliet Ashton writes to Sidney Stark, apologizing for making him turn around and return to Guernsey after having just left; however, she requires his presence—at her wedding. She has seized the day, and the night, and now she wants Stark to come give her away in Amelia Maugery’s backyard garden on Saturday. Eben Ramsey will be the best man, and Isola Pribby will be the maid of honor; she is “manufacturing a gown” just for the occasion. Kit will be the flower girl and throw the rose petals.
Dawsey Adams will be the groom.
Ashton wonders if Stark is surprised. It is likely he is not, but Ashton certainly is. In fact, she finds herself in a constant state of surprise these days. Now that she stops to think, she has been betrothed only for one full day, but it seems to her as if her entire life has been brought into existence only in the past twenty-four hours. Ashton and Adams might have gone on forever, longing for each another and pretending not to notice each other. Being obsessed with preserving one’s dignity can ruin one’s life if one is not careful.
She asks Stark if it is unseemly to get married so quickly. Even if it is, she does not want to wait. Ashton wants her new life to begin at once. All her life she has assumed that once the hero and the heroine were properly engaged, the story was over. That is what happens in Jane Austen’s books, and if it is good enough for her, it should be good enough for everyone else—but it is just not true. After the engagement, the story is just beginning, and every day after that is a new part of the plot. She thinks maybe her next book will be about a fascinating married couple and everything they learn about each another during their years together. Stark should be glad that her engagement has already had a positive effect on her writing career.
Adams has just arrived from the Big House and is demanding her immediate attention. The shyness everyone used to talk about in Adams has completely vanished; Ashton suspects it was all a trick he used to garner her sympathy.
In a postscript, Ashton tells Stark she met Adelaide Addison in St. Peter Port today. Addison offered her congratulations by saying that she heard Ashton and the pig farmer are going to “regularize their connection”—then added a hearty “Praise the Lord!”