To identify the exposition in Mary Lawson’s novel Crow Lake, one will need to be on the lookout for when Kate Morrison, the novel’s narrator, gives out details about the characters and setting. It appears that the exposition takes place early on in the prologue. This makes sense; often, a writer will want readers to have some basic understanding of the characters and their environment so that when something happens to them, it has meaning and context.
In the prologue, Kate talks about her grandma, her pastoral upbringing, and her siblings, with an emphasis on Matt. The emphasis on Matt should give the reader a clue that Matt’s character will be particularly important.
As for the initial incident, this takes place near the end of chapter 2. Remember, the initial incident is what sets the stage for the ensuing action. In order for the tale to take on the trajectory that it does, Kate’s parents have to die in a car crash.
To talk about three or four instances of rising action, think about the parts in the story that build to the climax. One could talk about the conflicts that arise due to Luke’s insistence that he set aside his academic aspirations so that Matt can pursue his. One might discuss Luke’s relationship with Sally McLean, Matt’s relationship Marie Pye, or the part when it’s revealed that Marie’s dad killed her brother.
The climax, when the drama can’t go any higher, is probably when Calvin Pye kills himself. After Pye’s suicide, it seems safe to say that events settle down.
Concerning resolution, this might be when Matt officially commits himself to running the Pye farm. Another possibility for resolution is when Kate returns for the birthday of Matt and Marie’s son.