Marie Benedict creates an unlikely yet believable love story that provides what she imagines could be the explanation for Andrew Carnegie’s transformation from ruthless industrialist to generous philanthropist. The tale is told from the point of view of Clara Kelley, a poor farmer’s daughter who has immigrated from Ireland to America in hopes of finding work and being able to support the family she has left behind. Her journal entries detail how she finds herself serving as a lady’s maid for the mother of Andrew Carnegie. When she catches the attentions of Andrew, her strength and determination keep her focused on what matters most–her family. This slow-paced story gives the reader an opportunity to imagine the life of a lady’s maid in the days leading up to the Gilded Age in Pittsburgh, PA. It also encourages thoughts about the influence of strong women in times when ladies were not expected to have strength.
If you enjoy thinking about days gone by and wondering how things might have been, you will enjoy this charming tale.
A Side note:
Carnegie’s Maid may be the second book by author Marie Benedict (The Other Einstein was the first), but it is not the second time she has written and published historical fiction. Under the name Heather Terrell, Marie also wrote historical novels The Chrysalis, The Map Thief, and Brigid of Kildare as well as YA novels Eternity, Fallen Angel, and The Books of Eva. Marie is a lawyer turned author in pursuit of a longtime dream to unearth hidden stories of women in history.