Ginny knows that it’s been three months since Rose’s operation, meaning that Rose, who’s been undergoing chemotherapy, has to check in with the hospital. Ginny drives her sister out Mason City. Rose and Ginny go to Rose’s doctor’s appointment, planning to go shopping afterwards. The appointment goes well: the doctor says Rose is doing very well.
Ginny takes care of her sister and supports her through her medical crisis—the two seem close, or at least much closer than they are with Caroline. At this early stage in the novel, Rose’s body seems to be in relatively good condition—she’s still healthy and young.
Rose and Ginny walk through the city, and Rose admits that she’s been depressed for a long time. Rose suggests going to a strip club to celebrate her appointment—something that would scandalize Larry. But eventually she settles for going shopping for clothes.
Rose, it’s implied, is a more rebellious daughter than Ginny: where Ginny seems more submissive and mild-mannered, Rose looks for opportunities to rebel against Larry (even if she’d never disrespect him to his face).
While shopping, Ginny and Rose talk about Caroline, who hasn’t spoken to Larry since he slammed the door in her face. They agree that it’ll have to be Caroline who makes the first move toward reconciliation.
On the surface of things, it seems that Rose and Ginny are reluctant to talk to Caroline: perhaps because they feel a little guilty about accepting Larry’s money and land so thoughtlessly; their consciences are guilty.
Ginny admits to Rose that she’s always had problems opening up to people outside her family; she remembers that Rose, by contrast, has always been friendly with strangers. Rose laughs and tells Ginny that she’s always struggled with “not grabbing things”—ever since she was a child, she wanted to grab objects, even when the objects were sharp or dangerous, like a razor. Ginny drives Rose back to her home, and Rose kisses Ginny goodbye. Ginny realizes that she’s known Rose her whole life and never tired of her.
Rose explains that she’s always has an acquisitive personality—a character flaw that seems minor for the time being, but will eventually prove to be a “fatal flaw.” Rose can’t help but grab things, even if they’re bad for her: the passage foreshadows the way Rose will “cling” onto her father’s land, even after it begins to destroy her, both spiritually and biologically. The relationship between the two sisters, which seems so loving here, is doomed to fall apart.