From the author of The Other Einstein comes the mesmerizing story of love, power, and the woman who inspired an American dynasty
In the industrial 1860s at the dawn of the Carnegie empire, Irish immigrant Clara Kelly finds herself in desperate circumstances. Looking for a way out, she seeks employment as a lady’s maid in the home of the prominent businessman Andrew Carnegie. Soon, the bond between Clara and her employer deepens into love. But when Clara goes missing, Carnegie’s search for her unearths secrets and revelations that lay the foundation for his lasting legacy. With captivating insight and stunning heart, Carnegie’s Maid tells the story of one lost woman who may have spurred Andrew Carnegie’s transformation from ruthless industrialist into the world’s first true philanthropist.
We actually visited the lovely city of Pittsburgh this summer. So, this book hit the spot for me. We visited Carnegie’s Library which the author talks about in the prologue. It is just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.
I love “Free To the People” on the front of the library.
Set in the late 1800 in Pittsburgh, this book takes you back in time when the rich had maids and servants, when they traveled in private train cars and made an obscene amount of money.
Clara is fresh off the boat. She lies her way into a position as Lady’s Maid for Mrs. Carnegie, Andrew Carnegie’s mother. Clara is smart and quick on her feet. She must be to create the life her parents intended. However, she has an attraction to Andrew Carnegie as a mentor. This attraction grows stronger the more they are together and could possibly bring down Clara’s house of cards.
The setting of the book is fabulous. The wealth, the poverty and the struggle to survive life, I felt like I was inside the pages with Clara. I also loved how much I learned reading this tale. I was researching Carnegie, Pittsburgh and NYC. I love historical fiction because I always learn something.
I am having trouble with this review. Basically, because I enjoyed the book so much, but there are some problems. I think the author glorified Carnegie a little too much. She created a very sincere and kind man and I am not sure he was as kind as she made him out to be. He did make his fortune on the backs and deaths of many workers. This is briefly touched on but I felt it should be expanded on more. Yes, it is a fiction book and he was a great philanthropist, but he also treated his factory workers poorly.
Marie Benedict is an expert on research. Her stories are vivid and memorable. I do love this book, I just felt it could have been more realistic.
Check out my post about the author’s other book The Other Einstein.
I received this novel from the publisher via Netgalley for a honest review.