Short Story #349: The Richer, The Poorer by Dorothy West

Title:  The Richer, The Poorer

Author:  Dorothy West


Book cover to The Best Short Stories by Negro Writers - Langston Hughes.
As sisters, Lottie and Bess grew up together but learned different lessons.  Lottie regularly nagged Bess to save and be careful with her money.  Lottie saved everything and worked ceaseless to accrue more.  By contrast Bess seemed to enjoy life and worry little about the future.  As the year pass, Lottie never marries while Bess marries and goes off on various adventures.  In their older years, Bess's husband dies and she is left with nothing but to call and ask Lottie for help.  Lottie agrees to help and starts to get her home ready for Bess.  In doing so, Lottie feels for the first time in her life a desire to spend without frugality.  Towards the end of their first evening together and listening to Bess's adventures, Lottie begins to realize she hasn't lived life and thinks it may be too late.  However, Bess insists that there is still plenty of living to happen between the two of them.  


It was an agreeable story about trying to make the most and not letting one's fear completely control or limit one's life.  Of course, there is something to be said that Lottie is able to provide support to her family when it is most needed.
Short Story #349 out of 365
Rating: 3 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  12/1/2014
Source:  The Best Short Stories by Negro Writers, ed. by Langston Hughes.  Little, Brown, and Company, 1967.  This story can also be found for free at this website.  

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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