The Round House

Grace Lark Character Analysis

Grace Lark is Linda and Linden's mother, a white woman who used to own a gas station near the reservation. Grace and her husband George were once convicted of trying to swindle older and disabled Chippewa people who bought things from the gas station store. After Linda's birth, despite being a vocal opponent of abortion, Grace abandoned her daughter because she had a birth defect. Linda was raised instead by Betty Wishkob, and after Betty's death, Grace tried to gain legal custody of Linda in order to steal the land Linda had inherited. In retaliation, Linda's adoptive siblings started a boycott of the Lark gas station, putting them out of business. Grace later approaches Linda under the pretense of wanting to reconnect with her, but she is really trying to manipulate Linda into giving Linden a kidney. Grace represents a hypocrisy that Bazil said is prevalent among white people: pretending to be friendly with Natives while secretly hating and exploiting them. Grace's character shows how the exploitative, two-faced attitudes that Bazil finds in the language of old court decisions persists into the modern day.
Get the entire The Round House LitChart as a printable PDF.
The round house.pdf.medium

Grace Lark Character Timeline in The Round House

The timeline below shows where the character Grace Lark appears in The Round House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Three: Justice
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...which the court determined that the white owners of a gas station, George Lark and Grace Lark, had been charging tribal members extra. Bazil sets this case file aside as important,... (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
...the people involved, not because of his own legal victory. Bazil explains that George and Grace Lark are dead, but that their daughter Linda and their son Linden are still alive.... (full context)
Storytelling, Formality, and Writing Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...parents’ deaths, the other Wishkob children let Linda continue to live in the family home. Grace Lark then applied to become Linda’s guardian, stating that Linda was mentally incapable of managing... (full context)
Chapter Six: Datalore
Storytelling, Formality, and Writing Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...clear out her airway, the doctor pointed out her deformed head and limbs and asked Grace Lark if he should try to save Linda. Grace said no, but the nurse cleared... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...died, Linda lived in their house alone. One night, Linda received a phone call from Grace Lark. When Grace said her name, Linda immediately hung up. Linda had had no desire... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
When Linda and Grace sat down to dinner, Grace first expressed shocked that Linda was not mentally disabled because... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
When Linda called Sheryl to tell her about meeting with Grace, Sheryl insisted that Linda not give Linden the kidney, shocked that Linda was even considering... (full context)
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...asks why Linda still gave Linden her kidney. Linda says that she did it for Grace. After the procedure, Linda got sick with an infection and realized she’d made a mistake... (full context)
Chapter Nine: The Big Good-bye
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
Bazil tells Joe that since Grace’s death Linden has been living in her house, which was searched after he was arrested.... (full context)
Chapter Eleven: The Child
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
...at the hospital, and how she thinks that what corrupted both Linden and their mother Grace was Linda’s absence from their lives after her abandonment. Linda also hypothesizes that Linden kept... (full context)