A Thousand Acres

A Thousand Acres

Caroline Cook Character Analysis

The youngest of Larry Cook’s daughters, and her father’s favorite. Caroline is the only Cook daughter to go to college and (it’s suggested) the only daughter not to be sexually abused by Larry. Largely as a result, Caroline grows up much closer to Larry than either Rose or Ginny, and after Larry proposes signing away his property to his children, Caroline is the only one who has second thoughts—so that in the end, Larry spitefully cuts her out of the will. Over the course of the novel, Caroline continues to love her father and hate her sisters for, in her view, cheating Larry out of his own money and land. As the novel ends, Caroline is still unaware that her father is a rapist. Caroline corresponds to the character Cordelia in King Lear.

Caroline Cook Quotes in A Thousand Acres

The A Thousand Acres quotes below are all either spoken by Caroline Cook or refer to Caroline Cook. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of A Thousand Acres published in 2003.
Book 1, Chapter 6 Quotes

We’ll stop making allowances tomorrow. This is important. He’s handing over his whole life, don’t you understand that? We have to receive it in the right spirit. And Rose and Pete and even Ty are ready to receive it. Just do it this once. Last time, I promise.

Related Characters: Ginny Cook Smith (speaker), Rose Cook Lewis, Caroline Cook, Laurence Cook, Tyler “Ty” Smith, Pete Lewis
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 6, Chapter 45 Quotes

“Look at Daddy! He knew he’d treated me unfairly, but that we really felt love for each other. He made amends. We got really close at the end.”

“How did he mistreat you?”
“Well, by getting mad and cutting me out of the farm.”

Related Characters: Ginny Cook Smith (speaker), Caroline Cook (speaker), Laurence Cook
Page Number: 362-363
Explanation and Analysis:

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Caroline Cook Character Timeline in A Thousand Acres

The timeline below shows where the character Caroline Cook appears in A Thousand Acres. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 1
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
...she was eight years old. This was also the year that the narrator’s younger sister Caroline was born. (full context)
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
...to take rides with their father in his new car. These rides stopped abruptly when Caroline was born. The narrator always savored her memories of the car rides: her mother and... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 2
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
...see a car pulling up to the house. Out of the car step Tyler, Pete, and–unexpectedly—Caroline. When the group walks through the door, Caroline doesn’t walk toward the narrator and Jess.... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...far more mature. Now, it seems, Tyler and Jess are equally old and experienced. Abruptly, Caroline walks up to Jess and greets him, shaking his hand with a strange, impersonal formality.... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 4
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Ginny comes to Harold Clark’s house, where she finds Rose, Caroline, and Larry. Larry is explaining his plan to form a corporation, in which Ginny and... (full context)
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Back in the present, Larry argues with Caroline, his youngest daughter. Caroline went to law school, and married a lawyer—she has no desire... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 6
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
...speaks about the importance of tilling the soil. Afterwards, Ginny meets up with her sister, Caroline, and tells her that it’s not too late to reconcile with Larry—she just has to... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Ginny continues to try to convince Caroline to go along with Larry’s plan for a corporation, but Caroline grows angry. She accuses... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 7
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Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
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Revenge Theme Icon
Caroline’s car arrives. When Caroline comes to the front door, Ginny opens it, but then Larry... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 8
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Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
...seems to relax: often he’ll finish his meal and just go home. Larry never visits Caroline, who lives in Des Moines now. (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 9
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
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While shopping, Ginny and Rose talk about Caroline, who hasn’t spoken to Larry since he slammed the door in her face. They agree... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 10
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Caroline was six when her mother died, Ginny remembers. She was an agreeable child who never... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Rose and Ginny looked out for Caroline, their little sister. In high school, they made sure that Larry granted her more freedom... (full context)
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
After driving Rose home, Ginny decides to call Caroline. She drives back to her home, past Larry’s house, and notices Larry sitting outside, very... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
...had a fight of some kind. After hanging up the phone, Ginny thinks about calling Caroline, but eventually talks herself into waiting until Sunday: if she hasn’t heard from Caroline by... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 14
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On Sunday, Ginny honors her promise to herself and calls Caroline. She calls, and Caroline immediately asks if Larry is all right. When Caroline is sure... (full context)
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Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
After her phone call, Rose tells Ginny that Caroline barely visited her during her time in the hospital, and suggests that Caroline thinks she’s... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 16
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Ginny “flashes back” to describe her most recent phone call with Caroline. After learning about Larry’s drive to Des Moines, Ginny talked to Caroline, and learned that... (full context)
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Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
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Ginny remembers that Caroline always got along with Larry better than she or Rose did. In college, Caroline would... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 17
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...he asks Ginny who Larry’s favorite child was: Ginny immediately replies that it’s always been Caroline. Ginny then asks Jess who Harold’s favorite child is, and he replies, “Me.” Jess notes... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 19
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
One Monopoly night, Ginny and her family learn that Caroline has gotten married to Frank in Des Moines. Rose only discovers the marriage while she’s... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 24
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
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...she was thirteen years old. As far as Rose knows, Larry never had sex with Caroline. (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...abuse. In high school, Rose felt that it was her mission to distract Larry from Caroline. She claims that Larry didn’t rape her—he seduced her, claiming that it was her duty... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 30
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...of papers, and informs her that Larry is suing her and Rose to reclaim his property—Caroline is party to the suit, too. Ken, who used to be Ginny’s own lawyer, tells... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 31
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Ginny remembers a time when Caroline was fourteen years old. Caroline was performing in a school play, and in rehearsals she... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Back in the present, Ginny learns that Caroline is helping Larry sue her and Rose, citing the revocation clause of the corporation agreement.... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 32
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
After her call with Caroline, Ginny feels as if she has the flu. She drives by herself to the Columbus... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 33
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
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...hiding secrets from him, and Ginny realizes that lately she’s hated Ty: for talking to Caroline about Larry, for weakening her trust in Rose, etc. Ty says that Ginny has destroyed... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 34
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
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While shopping at a store called Roberta’s, Ginny hears Caroline, Larry, and Loren. Without showing herself, Ginny listens as Caroline helps her father shop for... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
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...leaves the store and drives back the town. There, she tells Rose that she overheard Caroline and Larry, and she was shocked by how kindly and affectionately they spoke to one... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 37
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
...day in a daze. The next morning they go to the funeral, and that night Caroline cries herself to sleep while Ginny stays up, silent. Back in the present, Ginny realizes... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 39
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
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...she thinks she understands everyone in her life now. In turn, she thinks of Larry, Caroline, Pete, Ty, and Rose. When she thinks of Rose, she imagines her sleeping with Jess,... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 40
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
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A month goes by, and Caroline and Frank appear in court opposite Ginny and Rose. In court, Caroline ignores her sisters... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
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...lawyer, Ken. Ken asks Larry about the corporation agreement, but in response Larry rambles to Caroline about how “the land won’t produce.” Ken continues to try to examine Larry, but he... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
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Suddenly, Larry shouts, “Caroline’s dead.” Caroline, who’s sitting in court rushes to Larry’s side. Larry mutters that Rose and... (full context)
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Caroline takes the stand and testifies that she was immediately suspicious of Larry’s plan to divide... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
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...no legal basis for him to “un-sign” the document. The Judge also reprimands Larry and Caroline for pushing a “family matter” into court, and orders them to pay all outstanding legal... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 43
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
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...he’s here: he wants a divorce. Instead of replying, Ginny accuses Ty of talking to Caroline all those years ago: giving her the information about how Ginny and Rose ignored Larry.... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 44
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
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...Ginny what’s going to happen: after she dies, she’s leaving the farmland to Ginny and Caroline, not Linda and Pammy—she wants the family quarrels to end in “this generation” instead of... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 45
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It’s the day Caroline and Ginny are selling the farm. Both sisters are on their soon-to-be-former property, clearing out... (full context)
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...of the other people are. Even the baby in the picture could be Rose, or Caroline, or Ginny. (full context)
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Caroline tells Ginny that she can’t understand how Ginny and Rose bankrupted Larry’s farm. She reminds... (full context)
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Ginny considers telling Caroline the truth about Larry, but in the end she loses her nerve. She imagines Rose,... (full context)
Epilogue
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
In the aftermath of Rose’s death and the sale of the farm, Caroline and Ginny find that they owe 34,000 dollars. Caroline pays her half, and Ginny works... (full context)