I thought I had read this story before, but I was wrong. There is a similar short story that I feel is more moving than this one about a girl in a concentration camp (of some sort, she may be asian) and all she has is her necklace (or is it a bracelet).
This story though makes a point of detailing the woman and her emotions rather than factualy state what happens (like the side notes show). This added emotion and information is supposed to add to our sympathy felt for this woman or believe she really did grow stronger in those ten years and it was worth it.
I actually felt quite the opposite. Her constant sadness and desperation for material things disgusted me. Why couldn't she be happy with her husband? Why even marry her husband? I may have to look in context, during the time this was written for, to find these answers.
I was also confused as to why she didn't go to her friend. If her friend wsa so good as to loan her "diamonds", then why couldn't she go to her friend and tell the truth? (Probably also in context.)
Last, I disagreed with the moral of the story (note on the side). I believe she isn't better after 10 years of work. That was a little too extreme. Maybe two years, at the most five. Now she is probably more bitter than ever.