Lyddie is a 1991 historical fiction novel written by American award-winning author Katherine Paterson. Set in the 1800s, the novel tells the story of Lyddie Worthen—a young, ambitious, and determined farm girl who, after trying to fight off a bear, gets separated from her family and becomes a factory girl in the textile mills in Lowell, Massachusetts. Throughout the book, Lyddie struggles to keep her family together and desperately tries to reunite her loved ones, albeit unsuccessfully. One of her good friends (Luke) asks for her hand in marriage, but Lyddie refuses, deciding to instead enroll at a college which accepts women, so that she can embrace her individuality and showcase her independent nature. However, Lyddie likes and respects Luke, and the author suggests that she will eventually learn to love him as well and perhaps even marry him; Luke appreciates her tough character and her independence. Essentially, this might just be the happy ending that Lyddie was yearning for—and the happy ending she deserves.
In chapter 22, Lyddie is fired from the factory and can no longer support herself on her own. She decides to go back to Triphena and get a job in the tavern. Thus, she goes to the bank and withdraws all of her savings—a total of $243.87.