A Thousand Acres

A Thousand Acres

Rose Cook Lewis Character Analysis

The daughter of Larry Cook, and wife of Pete Lewis. Like her sister, Ginny Cook Smith, Rose is an ambitious, often greedy woman, but Rose is more open about her feelings than Ginny is. While she loves Ginny and Caroline, and often looked out for Caroline over the years, her defining emotion is hatred for her father. Rose remembers that Larry would abuse her when she was a teenager; she’d often encourage him to have sex with her in order to protect Caroline, her little sister. Over the course of the novel, Rose gradually gives in to her desire to get revenge on Larry. At the same time, Rose must contend with breast cancer, which eventually ends her life. She’s driven apart from Ginny over her love for Jess Clark, and by the end of the novel she’s permanently estranged from the rest of her family. Rose corresponds to the character Regan in King Lear.

Rose Cook Lewis Quotes in A Thousand Acres

The A Thousand Acres quotes below are all either spoken by Rose Cook Lewis or refer to Rose Cook Lewis. 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 2, Chapter 9 Quotes

I have this recurring nightmare about grabbing things that might hurt me, like that straight razor Daddy used to have, or a jar of some poison that spills on my hands. I know I shouldn’t and I watch myself, but I can’t resist.

Related Characters: Rose Cook Lewis (speaker), Ginny Cook Smith, Laurence Cook
Related Symbols: The Jar of Sausages
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 2, Chapter 12 Quotes

“He is crazy,” said Rose. Anyway, Ginny, you’re running out of money

and you have all the expensive rentals left before you get to Go.”

Related Characters: Rose Cook Lewis (speaker), Ginny Cook Smith
Related Symbols: Monopoly
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 2, Chapter 16 Quotes

After you’ve confided long enough in someone, he or she assumes the antagonism you might have just been trying out. It was better for now to keep this conversation to myself.

Related Characters: Ginny Cook Smith (speaker), Rose Cook Lewis
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 3, Chapter 19 Quotes

She wore a cast for eight weeks, and she made a sleeve for it with the words PETE DID THIS, glued on it in felt letters.

Related Characters: Ginny Cook Smith (speaker), Rose Cook Lewis, Pete Lewis
Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 3, Chapter 23 Quotes

I flattered you when I called you a bitch! What do you want to reduce me to? I’ll stop this building! I’ll get the land back! I’ll throw you whores off this place. You’ll learn what it means to treat your father like this. I curse you!

Related Characters: Laurence Cook (speaker), Ginny Cook Smith, Rose Cook Lewis
Page Number: 183
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 3, Chapter 24 Quotes

“He didn’t rape me, Ginny. He seduced me. He said it was okay, that it was good to please me, that he needed it, that I was special. He said he loved me.”
I said, “I can’t listen to this.”

Related Characters: Ginny Cook Smith (speaker), Rose Cook Lewis (speaker), Laurence Cook
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:

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“He won’t get away with it, Ginny. I won’t let him get away with it. I just won’t.”

Related Characters: Rose Cook Lewis (speaker), Ginny Cook Smith, Laurence Cook
Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 3, Chapter 28 Quotes

It was incredible to hear Rose speak like this, but it was intoxicating, too, as sweet and forbidden as anything I had ever done.

Related Characters: Ginny Cook Smith (speaker), Rose Cook Lewis
Page Number: 216
Explanation and Analysis:

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Since then I’ve often thought we could have taken our own advice, driven to the Twin Cities and found jobs as waitresses, measured out our days together in a garden apartment, the girls in one bedroom, Rose and I in the other, anonymous, ducking forever a destiny that we never asked for, that was our father’s gift to us.

Related Characters: Ginny Cook Smith (speaker), Rose Cook Lewis, Laurence Cook, Pamela, Linda
Page Number: 220
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 5, Chapter 40 Quotes

I continued to behave as if I was living in the sight of all our neighbors, as Mr. Cartier had told us to. I waited for Rose to die, but the weather was warm for sauerkraut and liver sausage—that was a winter dish.

Related Characters: Ginny Cook Smith (speaker), Rose Cook Lewis, Jean Cartier
Related Symbols: The Jar of Sausages
Page Number: 316
Explanation and Analysis:

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Rose Cook Lewis Character Timeline in A Thousand Acres

The timeline below shows where the character Rose Cook Lewis 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
...Ericson family had two daughters, about the narrator’s age. The narrator also has a sister, Rose. Her other neighbors are the Clarks, who have two sons, Loren and Jess. The narrator’s... (full context)
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
As a young child, the narrator and Rose used to take rides with their father in his new car. These rides stopped abruptly... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 2
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
On Valentine’s Day (a few weeks before the narrator’s meeting with Loren), Rose is diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34. As a result, the narrator... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
In the fall of 1978, Rose decides to send her two children, Pammy and Linda, to a boarding school. Pammy and... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Jess greets Rose and the narrator and gives them both a hug. As they chat, they see a... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...very well mannered. He gets along well with Ginny’s father, in contrast to Pete Lewis, Rose’s husband, who often quarrels with Ginny’s father. (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... (full context)
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
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...As Ginny witnesses this exchange, she realizes a crucial difference between Caroline and herself and Rose: Ginny and Rose are always careful to speak to their father as daughters, never as... (full context)
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...a diaphragm, and went about trying to get pregnant without telling Tyler. Ginny has told Rose about her secret, and Rose has sworn not to tell anyone. Ginny enjoys keeping a... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 5
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Ginny thinks back to Rose’s decision to marry Pete. Ginny was impressed with Pete, since Pete was handsome and charming,... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 6
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Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
...into giving up his property in order to get rich quick. Caroline walks off with Rose and Pete, who drive her away from the church. As Ginny watches her sisters drive... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 7
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...car pulls up, carrying Marv Carson and Ken LaSalle (Larry’s lawyer and friend). Pete and Rose arrive, and soon there are lots of people inside the house, talking happily. Ginny sees... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 8
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Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
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After the corporation is established, Ginny and Rose take turns having Larry over for dinner. For months, Larry visits his two daughters every... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 9
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
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.... (full context)
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
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Rose and Ginny walk through the city, and Rose admits that she’s been depressed for a... (full context)
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... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
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Ginny admits to Rose that she’s always had problems opening up to people outside her family; she remembers that... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 10
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Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
...an agreeable child who never bothered anyone, and Larry often said she was better than Rose or Ginny. Larry would ask Caroline to give him a kiss, and she’d oblige right... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
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Rose and Ginny looked out for Caroline, their little sister. In high school, they made sure... (full context)
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After driving Rose home, Ginny decides to call Caroline. She drives back to her home, past Larry’s house,... (full context)
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Rose calls Ginny later that evening and reports that she can see Larry from her house,... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 12
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The next evening, Jess comes for dinner again. Rose, Ginny has heard, will be out of town tomorrow to pick up Linda and Pammy... (full context)
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One night, Jess comes over for Monopoly with Rose and Pete, and says that Harold is planning to remodel his house using concrete in... (full context)
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At Monopoly night, Ginny and Rose talk about Larry’s expensive, irresponsible orders, and Rose notes that Ginny is “running out of... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 13
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...thinks about what Mary has said: Mary sized her up completely. She also realizes that Rose has ended up a lot like their mother, Mrs. Cook: both women ended up in... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 14
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Back at Rose’s home, Ginny finds Ty, Rose, and Pete. Rose tells Ginny that Jess is coming over... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
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...right. When Caroline is sure that Larry is fine, she asks Ginny if she and Rose have signed the corporation paperwork, and Ginny says that everything has been taken care of.... (full context)
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
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After her phone call, Rose tells Ginny that Caroline barely visited her during her time in the hospital, and suggests... (full context)
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A few days after the dinner, Ginny and Rose go to visit Larry for their annual Father’s Day dinner. At dinner, Larry is morose—the... (full context)
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
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After dinner, Ty says that Ginny and Rose don’t understand their father at all. Ty explains that Larry is now afraid of his... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 16
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
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...eggs, even though she could have simply gone across the street to get some from Rose. (full context)
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Ginny remembers that Caroline always got along with Larry better than she or Rose did. In college, Caroline would have complicated psychological theories about why Larry was the way... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 19
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
...Ginny and her family learn that Caroline has gotten married to Frank in Des Moines. Rose only discovers the marriage while she’s shopping at the store and absent-mindedly reading the paper.... (full context)
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Rose angrily stands up from the Monopoly game and throws the board to the ground, infuriating... (full context)
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...he reports that Larry has been in a car accident, and he’s in the hospital. Rose mutters, “It’s about time.” Rose and Ginny drive separately to the hospital, and in their... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 20
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
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In the hospital, Ginny and Rose find Larry in the waiting room, being very quiet. Larry has been mildly injured, but... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
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Revenge Theme Icon
...and put him in bed. The next morning they fix him breakfast as usual, and Rose drops by to see him. Privately, Ginny and Rose discuss what to do about their... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 22
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
...the appointment, Larry and Ginny go eat dinner, though Ginny isn’t hungry. Larry mutters that Rose and Ginny should show him more respect—just because his land is theirs doesn’t mean they... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 23
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Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
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Rose calls Ginny at night, saying that Pete’s truck has disappeared; Larry might have taken it.... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
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Revenge Theme Icon
...watching TV. Late at night, after the nieces are asleep, Ty returns home and tells Rose and Ginny that he’s found Larry: Larry has some things to tell his daughters. Rose... (full context)
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
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...warns her that her own children will treat her just as horribly when she’s old. Rose pulls Ginny into the house. Ginny sees that outside, Larry has punched Pete in the... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 24
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
...to go check if Larry has found his way back to his own place or Rose’s place. (full context)
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Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
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...whore—she wonders if he could possibly know about her affair with Jess. Inside the house, Rose says that Larry is clearly crazy. The phone rings, and Ty reports that Larry is... (full context)
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Rose and Ginny continue talking about Larry. Rose remembers the time after Mrs. Cook died, when... (full context)
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Rose continues to tell Ginny about Larry’s sexual abuse. In high school, Rose felt that it... (full context)
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Ginny doesn’t know what to say to Rose, except, “It didn’t happen to me.” Rose hisses that she won’t let Larry get away... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 25
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...asleep, Ginny can’t stop thinking about what she’s just learned: Larry used to sexually abuse Rose. Although Larry never had sex with Ginny (that Ginny can remember), Ginny remembers Larry coming... (full context)
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...to Harold’s house, where he yelled until Loren found him there. Larry was yelling about Rose and Ginny being whores. Jess also mentions that he and Pete had an argument: Pete... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 26
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...be able to honor their loan, due to Larry’s “problems.” Ginny is confused: she and Rose control the land because of their corporation deal. Marv explains that the bank feels uncomfortable... (full context)
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...by to tell Ginny that there’s a problem: Larry refuses to visit with Ginny or Rose anymore. Ginny insists that Larry is being foolish; she and her sister treat their father... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 27
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...decides that it’s time for her family to start seeing a psychiatrist: about Larry’s insanity, Rose’s sexual abuse and trauma, etc. Ginny tries to find a suitable psychiatrist, but then it... (full context)
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Ginny meets with Rose and tells her that it’s time to confront Larry about his abuse. Rose is reluctant... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 28
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It’s Sunday, and the church holds a huge potluck. Ginny and Rose wear their best clothes and go to church, where they find Larry, looking oddly submissive... (full context)
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Finally, Larry comes to speak with Rose and Ginny. He immediately launches into a description of homes for the elderly, insisting that... (full context)
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Everybody takes food and sits down to enjoy the meal. Rose and Ginny sit near Larry and Harold and try to make conversation with their father,... (full context)
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Rose and Ginny leave the potluck—Harold Clark’s insults have left them unable to talk to their... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 29
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After the disastrous potluck, Jess tells Ginny and Rose that he needs a new place to stay while Larry and Harold calm down. Rose... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 30
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...about Harold’s blindness, and seems angry that Ginny isn’t more sympathetic. Ginny goes to tell Rose about the accident. Rose is completely unsympathetic to the news: she reminds Ginny of how,... (full context)
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Jess enters the house, and has a serious talk with Ginny and Rose. Rose accuses Jess of pretending to feel sorry for his father because he wants to... (full context)
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After their conversation, Ginny, Rose, and Jess don’t visit Harold in the hospital at all. When Ginny sees Loren, they... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 31
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Back in the present, Ginny learns that Caroline is helping Larry sue her and Rose, citing the revocation clause of the corporation agreement. Several days after hearing the news, Ginny... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 32
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...Ginny tells him about her lawsuit. Without answering, Pete asks Ginny, “What do you think Rose wants?” Ginny isn’t sure what to say—eventually, she answers, “For this all to be over.” (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 33
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...never told Ty about. Ty reveals that he already knew that Ginny had another secret miscarriage—Rose told him about it. Ginny is surprised that Rose would betray her trust. Ginny also... (full context)
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...lately she’s hated Ty: for talking to Caroline about Larry, for weakening her trust in Rose, etc. Ty says that Ginny has destroyed his excitement in the hog pen: he was... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 34
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...peace with her father. He hints that there’s been a lot of “gossip” about what Rose and Ginny have done to Larry, but when Ginny presses him for details, he gives... (full context)
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...to the center of Cabot, her town. She goes to an old antique store where Rose used to sell furniture. There, the store’s owner, Dinah, recognizes Ginny, and tells her that... (full context)
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...Larry. While they shop, Caroline tells Larry that they’ll need to talk to Ginny and Rose today. Larry insists that there’s no need: he’s perfectly happy spending his time shopping with... (full context)
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Afterwards, Ginny 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... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 36
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In Mason City, Ginny, Ty, Rose, and Pete meet with their new lawyer, Jean Cartier. Ginny thinks of Mr. Cartier as... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 37
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The morning after Pete’s death, Rose comes to Ginny’s house and tells her that Pete has “drowned himself.” Ginny is stunned,... (full context)
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Rose gathers Linda and Pammy and tells them “some really bad news.” Meanwhile, Ginny proceeds with... (full context)
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Late at night, Rose calls Ginny and asks her to come over. Ginny remembers that after Rose was diagnosed... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 38
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Immediately after the events of the last chapter, Ginny goes to see Rose, where she finds her sister very drunk. Rose confesses to Ginny that she’s furious with... (full context)
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Rose and Ginny walk outside, and Rose admits that her marriage to Pete was sad, even... (full context)
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Rose reminds Ginny that Larry used to beat them and have sex with them. As Ginny... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 39
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The immediate effect of Ginny’s discovery that Rose is sleeping with Jess is that she thinks she understands everyone in her life now.... (full context)
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...find an especially deadly poison, like arsenic, and explains that she was trying to kill Rose with it. After much research, she settles on hemlock for the murder, and thinks with... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 40
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...few able-bodied men around who’s willing to help Ty). There’s less than a month until Rose and Ginny are set to appear in court. Ginny watches her husband and Jess harvest... (full context)
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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 but smiles at Ty, who smiles back. Ginny is... (full context)
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...win: the harvest has been a great success, meaning that, per Cartier’s advice, she and Rose will be able to withstand Larry’s attacks. The first witness is Larry, and he’s examined... (full context)
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...shouts, “Caroline’s dead.” Caroline, who’s sitting in court rushes to Larry’s side. Larry mutters that Rose and Ginny, “those bitches,” have killed Caroline. Larry says that Caroline used to sing “like... (full context)
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...the hearing is to determine if the farmland has been mismanaged—not how poorly Ginny and Rose treated Larry. (full context)
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Marv testifies that the farm is in debt, but only because Ginny and Rose are planning a hog farm that, in Marv’s opinion, will be highly successful. After Marv’s... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 41
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After the verdict, Rose and Ginny pursue their farming ventures: they have no other choice, since they’re deep in... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 42
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...with customers. She stays in the YMCA until Christmas, when she writes a note to Rose telling her where she is. Ginny is surprised to get a note in return: she... (full context)
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In Rose’s note, she explains that she and Ty divided the farm evenly: Rose and Jess will... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 43
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...and she realizes that the man is Ty. Ginny greets Ty casually and asks how Rose is doing—to Ginny’s surprise, Ty explains that Rose is just fine. Ginny realizes that today... (full context)
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...work out well for Ty: the work nearly “killed” him. Ty hasn’t gotten along with Rose in years, and claims that Rose has just become Larry all over again. Nevertheless, he’s... (full context)
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...talking to Caroline all those years ago: giving her the information about how Ginny and Rose ignored Larry. Ty doesn’t deny it, but just says he was “on one side” of... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 44
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Ginny continues to get letters and postcards from Rose, and each one infuriates her: they’re proof that Rose still isn’t dead, and that she... (full context)
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One day, Ginny gets a letter from Rose: Rose will be in the hospital in Mason City. Ginny agrees to go see her.... (full context)
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Ginny drives back to see Rose in the hospital, and tells her that Linda and Pammy are coming to see her... (full context)
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Rose tells Ginny what’s going to happen: after she dies, she’s leaving the farmland to Ginny... (full context)
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Ginny tells Rose that she tried to kill her years ago with the jar of poisoned sausages. Rose... (full context)
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Rose takes Ginny’s hand and tells her what she thinks about her own life: Rose hasn’t... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 45
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...casually but not warmly. As they explore the house, they decide how to divide up Rose’s old things, such as her clothes and glasses. (full context)
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...who any 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 Ginny that she (Caroline) was very close to Larry toward... (full context)
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...Caroline the truth about Larry, but in the end she loses her nerve. She imagines Rose, urging her to talk about how Larry raped his own children. But there are some... (full context)
Epilogue
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In the aftermath of Rose’s death and the sale of the farm, Caroline and Ginny find that they owe 34,000... (full context)