Author: Marie Benedict
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Blurb (as on Goodreads):
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…
|“To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.” ― J.K. Rowling|
Andrew Carnegie was a Businessman and a Philanthropist, also the richest man during his time. He is known to have contributed immensely is spreading knowledge and helping the ones in need in terms of charity, health care, and education. But before being this man Andrew Carnegie, or Andra, as his mother used to like calling him, was a person madly in love with a woman. A strong, determined woman, with powerful views, Clara Kelly, was his mother’s maid.
The truth behind the story remains unknown, but Marie Benedict has weaved a story around these characters, tying them together with thoughts those could have a tremendous effect on the poor and needy.
Set around the time of Lincon’s death, Clara Kelley arrives in Pittsburgh to look for a job and finds herself stealing another girls job because times are desperate and she is her family’s only hope. That’s how she becomes Mrs. Carnegie’s maid. As the story progresses, Clara and Andrew cross paths and are immediately attracted to each other. Now Clara might seem like a stupid girl, but she is smart and calculative, someone who knows what she is doing. Andrew and Clara find solace with each other not only as two people in love do, but also as friends who have the same thought process, who believe in the same ideologies, and as a teacher who is willing to teach her everything she needs to know about business and making a life for herself, being equals and yet helping the world.
Over time Andrew becomes more and more dependent on Clara but will this relationship succeed? With that question, we dive into the reasons and possibilities behind the drastic change in Andrew’s character, from money maker to actually making a difference in the world, from thinking about personal gains to thinking about immigrants and equal rights.
A book that captured my attention because of the name, because Andrew Carnegie was a hot-shot. There’s a subtle romance going on throughout the book, but the central theme stays the same- ideologies and equal rights, wars and consequences. And the author has done an amazing job to maintain it that way, never deviating from the central topic. And yet, there is also a glimpse on the life of the elites, with the tiniest of details. It looks glorious with their tea-parties and gossips, clothing and hair-styles, which created and very picturesque background for the plot to develop.
A minimalistic take on the personal life of Andrew Carnegie, with a brilliant and vivid description of life in that era, overall, this was an almost realistic take on what could have possibly happened which resulted in the rise of a simple man to the first true philanthropist and the richest man of his times.