My only question after reading the book is what is the gender of Rose? They call Rose a she in the book repeatedly, wears dresses and pig tails, but sometimes they call her a he and is in the final family tree.. So if it is a he, why does he wear drag??
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Rose is defintely a girl. She's Kathleen's lesbian lover, but obviously isn't related to Kathleen's twins. The 'he' in her family tree is James, who raped Kathleen when he heard about her affair and so he's the father of Ambrose and Lily.
Sorry this is so late...I just started reading it myself.
the post by John D isn't true, they aren't referring to James as the "he", although yes, James is the father of Lily and Ambrose.
in the time Kathleen knew her, Rose considered herself to be a female. However, by the end of the novel, he has chosen to identify as a man. this is why he is referred to as a male / 'he'. He dresses and behaves like a man, and considers himself to be one. this is just a further step to the already "manly" or butch way he acts when he is around Kathleen in the time they are in NYC together. one could say he is transgendered or transsexual without having undergone an operation.
i know this thread is old, but i just wanted to clear that up.