A Thousand Acres

A Thousand Acres

While Larry Cook’s wife never appears in the novel, her presence hangs over every page. In flashbacks, we learn that Mrs. Cook was a meek, submissive woman who always gave Larry what he wanted. Mrs. Cook, according to Rose Cook Lewis, is the reason why Larry is so stubborn and ornery: she never challenged him, and encouraged him to get used to having everything “his way.”
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Mrs. Cook Character Timeline in A Thousand Acres

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Cook appears in A Thousand Acres. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 2, Chapter 8
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Ginny’s mother, Mrs. Cook , got along decently well with Mrs. Ericson, though deep down she agreed with Larry... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 13
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...afraid of what would happen to her daughters after her death than of death itself. Mrs. Cook wanted her daughters to have freedom to go to college and explore their options, instead... (full context)
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...up completely. She also realizes that Rose has ended up a lot like their mother, Mrs. Cook : both women ended up in the hospital at an early age, and they’re very... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 18
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
...property (the Ericsons moved back to Chicago). Larry never stopped negotiating business deals, even when Mrs. Cook died. Ginny has grown up with one key lesson: land is always moving from one... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 20
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
...of Larry. Ginny recalls that Larry used to be easier to get along with when Mrs. Cook was alive. Rose looks like she’s about to say something important, but then she falls... (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
Revenge Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Rose and Ginny continue talking about Larry. Rose remembers the time after Mrs. Cook died, when Larry would come into his daughters’ rooms and “came after” them. Ginny claims... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 29
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Ginny remembers her mother. Mrs. Cook was a dedicated, hard-working woman, though not especially smart or pretty. Ginny’s mother went to... (full context)
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...her mother might be waiting for her there—now that Larry is gone, it’s as if Mrs. Cook can live again. (full context)