What does Lyddie feel after Charlie leaves in Lyddie?

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Lyddie feels sad when Charlie leaves, because she will miss him and Rachel.

Since their mother left, Lyddie has been alone most of the time.  When Charles tells her that he has a new family and offers to take Rachel, Lyddie feels lonely.  Her hope had always been to get the family back together again.  Now the farm was gone, her mother was in an asylum, and Agnes was dead.

When Charlie comes to see her, Lyddie barely recognizes him.  Two years have passed since they saw each other last. He looks good, but he looks and sounds different from the brother she remembers.  Even though he is only thirteen, he seems more like a man than a boy.  He also appears shy around her. 

"I got good news, Lyddie," he said, a little of the boy she knew creeping into his voice. Her heart rose.

"The Phinneys have taken me on as full apprentice."


"More than that, truly. They treat me like their own. They don't have no child but me."

"You got a family," she said faintly. (Ch. 18)

Charles tells Lyddie that Mrs. Phinney wants to have Rachel come, because she wants a daughter. He reminds her that Rachel has “never had a proper Ma.”  She can go to school and fatten up.

He leaves, with Lyddie feeling like there is nothing left to say.  For Lyddie, it seems as if she has been replaced.  Her brother has a new family, and is taking her little sister.  She is sad because she misses her brother, and because he seems to have moved on.  To Lyddie, it is a failure.  She was not able to give him the life that she wanted.  She had tried, but never got there.

When Lyddie reads the letter that Charlie brought from Luke Stevens, proposing marriage, she is horrified.  She can’t believe Charlie would bring her such a letter.  She will not go back that way.  She has to go on with her life without them.

From time to time, she wondered why she was working so hard, now that the farm was sold and Rachel and Charlie lost to her. (Ch. 19)

Lyddie works hard because it is all she knows how to do.  She misses her family, and feels like everything is her fault because she could not keep them together.

The visit from Charles is a big blow to Lyddie.  Her dream of having a family is quashed, and she feels all alone.  Her brother is just doing what is best for Rachel, and she understands that.  In her heart, she knows Rachel will have a better life with him and her new family.  The proposal from Luke Stevens horrifies her.  Charles is young, and he just sees it as an attempt to keep the family close.  Lyddie sees it as an attempt to buy her.

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