Carnegie's Maid

Carnegie's Maid

by Marie Benedict

Overview: From the author of The Other Einstein, the mesmerizing tale of what kind of woman could have inspired an American dynasty.

Clara Kelley is not who they think she is. She's not the experienced Irish maid who was hired to work in one of Pittsburgh's grandest households. She's a poor farmer's daughter with nowhere to go and nothing in her pockets. But the other woman with the same name has vanished, and pretending to be her just might get Clara some money to send back home.

If she can keep up the ruse, that is. Serving as a lady's maid in the household of Andrew Carnegie requires skills he doesn't have, answering to an icy mistress who rules her sons and her domain with an iron fist. What Clara does have is a resolve as strong as the steel Pittsburgh is becoming famous for, coupled with an uncanny understanding of business, and Andrew begins to rely on her. But Clara can't let her guard down, not even when Andrew becomes something more than an employer. Revealing her past might ruin her future -- and her family's.

With captivating insight and heart, Carnegie's Maid tells the story of one brilliant woman who may have spurred Andrew Carnegie's transformation from ruthless industrialist into the world's first true philanthropist..

Judy Stanton (04/15/18): Having enjoyed The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict, I plunged into Carnegie's Maid with great expectations, and the book did not disappoint. The author steeped the reader in the time period, right down to the grime and dirt of living in Pittsburgh, the home of iron production. The author was seeking to understand the philanthropic heart of magnate Andrew Carnegie and fabricated his mother's maid, Clara Kelley, as his muse, constantly reminding him of his immigrant roots and his commitment to equality. She painted a graphic picture of the poverty, sickness and hopelessness experienced by immigrant American and Irish families and former slaves, pitting them against to the extravagances of the nouveau riche -- from private Pullman railroad cars, to custom made wardrobes and opulent celebrations with food fit for a king. I would have liked it better had there been a hint of a real relationship behind the story, but, still, it was a tale well told.

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