Lyddie and her family are separated from each other early in the book. Lyddie and her brother are both sold off into indentured servitude, and mom and the younger children go to live with other family members. The reason for the separation is that Lyddie's father left them in search of gold. He left them financially destitute, so the main reason for the family's separation is financial debt. The solution to their separation, according to Lyddie, is to solve their financial debt problem. That's why she goes to work in the tavern. It's also why she goes to work in the mills. She can earn more money is a shorter amount of time. It's why she works multiple looms. More looms means more money. Lyddie believes that if she can earn enough money, the family will not be forced to sell the farm. Then they can all be together again. Basically, Lyddie is willing to work herself to the ground in order to make her family whole again.