Marian is more complex than she initially seems, since at first she concentrates on baking wonderful meals and altering her hat to make it adhere to the current fashions. However, she is more canny than originally observable. She knows how much the situation with Fletcher affects Shane, and she serves to try and protect Shane from it as much as possible, if only by giving him an outlet to voice his concerns. She loves and supports Shane in much the same way she loves and supports Joe, and for a while it almost feels as if she has two husbands because the bond between her and both of the men is so strong. She never has to choose between the men and never makes any effort to conceal her feelings. She is also a straight-shooter, acknowledging her feelings to both Shane and Joe and, thus, exhibiting the same kind of honesty and loyalty they do.