Carnegie's Maid
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.

Carnegie's Maid Details

TitleCarnegie's Maid
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 16th, 2018
PublisherSourcebooks Landmark
ISBN-139781492646617
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction

Carnegie's Maid Review

  • James
    January 1, 1970
    4 out of 5 stars to Carnegie's Maid, a historical fiction novel set to be published in January 2018 by Marie Benedict. Why This Book I saw this show up on NetGalley and wanted to read something about the Carnegie family. I've been on a hunt to read/learn more about all the "tycoons" of America, curious about all the connections between them. I enjoy both fiction and non-fiction, so I requested this one and was approved. I picked it up last month because of a trip to the Vanderbilt Estate, eve 4 out of 5 stars to Carnegie's Maid, a historical fiction novel set to be published in January 2018 by Marie Benedict. Why This Book I saw this show up on NetGalley and wanted to read something about the Carnegie family. I've been on a hunt to read/learn more about all the "tycoons" of America, curious about all the connections between them. I enjoy both fiction and non-fiction, so I requested this one and was approved. I picked it up last month because of a trip to the Vanderbilt Estate, even though it's a different family. Wanted to immerse myself in the culture before the trip. Plot, Characters & Setting Andrew Carnegie, a leading member of one of America's tycoon families, has settled in Pittsburgh with his mother and brother. A woman who leaves Ireland to help earn money to send her family back home, learns that the lady's maid hired for Mrs. Carnegie has died during the Atlantic voyage. She takes her place and becomes Clara Kelly, despite not having all the knowledge a lady's maid should have. She learns quickly, befriends some of the other staff, even fights with a few. Over time, she convinces everyone she is a good maid, but there is much more to her than they realize; she's got strong business acumen and become a confidante of sorts to Mrs. Carnegie's son, Andrew. Their relationship grows and begins to cause a few folks to question what is going on in the Carnegie household. This is a story about the relationship between the Carnegie family and their staff, love between two unexpected souls and the vicious rules of society. Approach & Style I read the Kindle version on my iPad over 3 days. It is about 250 pages with short chapters, told from the perspective of Mrs. Carnegie's maid during the 1860s in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, America. Strengths The story is simple and complex, quite beautifully told from the maid's perspective. Only she's so much more than a maid, and you can hear every bit of pain and love in her voice. Benedict does a fantastic job at transporting us to the setting of the story, which makes it a strong connection. It's a slow-build to see and feel the love, but quite believable.I learned a bit about how Carnegie grew to fame and fortune. The book has made me curious to know how much of this story is true, hence why I am on the lookout for a biography on him and the family. A good author makes that happen... thanks, Ms. Benedict!We only see a glimpse (less than ten years) of the life between these characters, then it jumps to when they are much older. I loved seeing a future glance rather than everything that happened over the years after Andrew and Clara met. Usually I don't like missing details, but in this story, it worked quite well. Concerns The writing is a little clunky at times; sometimes it's as it should be, given the story takes place 150 years ago. But on a few occasions, I thought simpler phrases or imagery would have helped with the complexity in the differences between the time period and today. Author & Other Similar Books This is the author's second book, as she has a debut titled 'The Other Einstein.' I don't know a lot about it, but I am curious to check out the description to see if it's something I'd want to read.I read a bunch of historical fiction and have encountered books like this before; however, seeing it about a famous American family, and learning of a potential 'hidden' relationship, was different and exciting. Final Thoughts Good read. Quick. Informative. I liked the style. Characters well-drawn. Matches the style of the time period. Overall, better than average. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    Andrew Carnegie, originally an Scottish immigrant grew to be the most powerful and richest man in America. He was assuredly a self made man, one who grew to control the steel industry in America and later became a philanthropist and is given credit for the concept of a free library where all could educate themselves through the reading of books. Having little formal education, he grew up in a family where education through books was valued. Andrew carried this throughout his life and believed th Andrew Carnegie, originally an Scottish immigrant grew to be the most powerful and richest man in America. He was assuredly a self made man, one who grew to control the steel industry in America and later became a philanthropist and is given credit for the concept of a free library where all could educate themselves through the reading of books. Having little formal education, he grew up in a family where education through books was valued. Andrew carried this throughout his life and believed that "There is no use whatever trying to help people who do not help themselves. You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he be willing to climb himself." The book Carnegie's Maid, is a fictitious account of a maid, Clara Kelly, and Irish immigrant who was supposedly the impetus behind Carnegie's philanthropy and the finding of free lending libraries. Clara assumes the name of another traveler to America who perished on the journey and becomes the personal mail to Mrs Carnegie, Andrew's mother. Clara is a noble soul, happy for the position in the household while worrying about the conditions at home faced by her family. Andrew befriends her seeing a woman who is both brilliant and true, not knowing her secret identity. He and Clara fall in love and of course the social strata between them prohibits this relationship. Mrs Carnegie, forgetting from whence she has come, is full of herself. She looks down upon the help and when she senses something between Andrew and Clara, she takes it upon herself to investigate Clara with dire consequences for Clara. Told through Clara's point of view, this story tells us of the struggles of immigrants and the rise of the wealthy class in America. It portrays this society as elitist and at the opposite end shows the struggles of those in both Ireland and America who are dirt poor. Thankfully, Mr Carnegie after amassing his wealth, did whatever his money and fame brought him to help those in need.Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    This book starts with an unbelievable premise, on which the whole plot hangs. Clara Kelly assumes the identity of a dead girl with the same name who happened to be traveling on the same boat to America. It gives you a good taste of the trials of the Irish immigrant and is a reminder how American prejudice used to be directly squarely at the Irish Catholics. The book reminds me in some ways of Jane Eyre and other books from the period that looked to have love bridge the social gap between rich an This book starts with an unbelievable premise, on which the whole plot hangs. Clara Kelly assumes the identity of a dead girl with the same name who happened to be traveling on the same boat to America. It gives you a good taste of the trials of the Irish immigrant and is a reminder how American prejudice used to be directly squarely at the Irish Catholics. The book reminds me in some ways of Jane Eyre and other books from the period that looked to have love bridge the social gap between rich and poor. But it’s not giving anything away to say there’s no happy ending here. While the story here is interesting, I didn’t find the main character to be compelling or believable. I just didn’t engage fully with Clara. We’re meant to believe that a ladies maid is the impetus behind Carnegie’s funding of the public libraries he founded. We’re also meant to believe that some of Carnegie’s business ideas were actually Clara’s. I found her character to be more device than real. Carnegie’s story is interesting, however, especially how he made his money. Benedict doesn’t try to whitewash his tactics, including insider trading. At times, I wished the story were more directly about him. Benedict does her best job at painting Mrs. Carnegie. A true rarity in her day, she was a shrewd businesswoman but socially insecure. The parts in enjoyed most are the details about the times and social mores. The necessity of a chatelaine to help ladies prone to fainting because of their tight corsets is an excellent example. And Benedict shines when she contrasts the wealth of the Carnegies and their friends to the lot of the poor in Ireland and Pittsburgh. This book will appeal to those who favor historical romance. My thanks to netgalley and Landmark Sourcebooks for an advance copy of this novel.
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  • Melisa
    January 1, 1970
    If ever there was a market for this book, it would be me - a born and raised Pittsburgher who has read nonfiction works about Carnegie's life, is a massive historical fiction fan, has visited the former house museum of his arch enemy, Henry Clay Frick, (twice) because I am so fascinated with the era...I even got married at Carnegie museum. So a fictional account of a love story involving Andrew Carnegie? Sign.me.up. However. I can't be sure if it's this bias that left me disappointed with this b If ever there was a market for this book, it would be me - a born and raised Pittsburgher who has read nonfiction works about Carnegie's life, is a massive historical fiction fan, has visited the former house museum of his arch enemy, Henry Clay Frick, (twice) because I am so fascinated with the era...I even got married at Carnegie museum. So a fictional account of a love story involving Andrew Carnegie? Sign.me.up. However. I can't be sure if it's this bias that left me disappointed with this book; if my expectations were too high. So please take my review with a grain of salt, and please pick this one up to make your own opinion - you may love it much more than I did. This is a fictional account of "what would have happened had Andrew Carnegie's mother had a lady's maid who he fell in love with and changed his view of the world?". An interesting concept for a romantic soul as myself. I believe it's strongest point was how this book highlighted the social injustices of the time. It gives factual, historical evidence of how those in the lower classes were treated and forced to suffer during these times, all from the perspective of someone who is experiencing these injustices yet is thrown into the world of luxury and opulence. This juxtaposition of her two worlds lays heavily on her heart and truly demonstrates the difference between the upper and lower classes of the gilded age. For a relatively short book, this took me an awful long time to complete. It's slower pace left me feeling a bit underwhelmed and I believe I read two other books from the time I picked this one up because I kept putting it down. As I mentioned before, my expectations may have been too high based on my personal experience. I would recommend this to historical fiction fans. Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    FULL REVIEW WILL BE ON JANUARY 11, 2018."CARNEGIE'S MAID takes us through the everyday life of Andrew Carnegie, his brother, Tom, and their mother as they build their fortune. Andrew Carnegie was very philanthropic in his latter years.This was the first book I have read by Ms. Benedict. Ms. Benedict has a beautiful, pull-you-in writing style. I enjoyed her prologue explaining why she wanted to write about the Carnegies.CARNEGIE'S MAID flowed smoothly and had perfect detail. I live in Pittsburgh FULL REVIEW WILL BE ON JANUARY 11, 2018."CARNEGIE'S MAID takes us through the everyday life of Andrew Carnegie, his brother, Tom, and their mother as they build their fortune. Andrew Carnegie was very philanthropic in his latter years.This was the first book I have read by Ms. Benedict. Ms. Benedict has a beautiful, pull-you-in writing style. I enjoyed her prologue explaining why she wanted to write about the Carnegies.CARNEGIE'S MAID flowed smoothly and had perfect detail. I live in Pittsburgh and enjoyed hearing the names of towns and streets.CARNEGIE'S MAID kept me interested and engaged in the story line. It was an excellent read even though the maid Andrew fell in love with and the woman who influenced him is fictitious.A thoroughly enjoyable book for historical fiction fans and those who want to learn about Andrew Carnegie. 5/5This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own."
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  • Deanne Patterson
    January 1, 1970
    Having been born in Pittsburgh, PA I am very familiar with the name Andrew Carnegie. I was pleased as punch to be approved for this book. Very fascinating story of a young girl, one of the many Irish immigrants coming to America to find work after the potato famine. Having a very common name of Clara Kelly she poses as the Clara Kelly who dies on the ship on her way to America. That Clara Kelly was on her way to a well paying position as a ladies maid for Mrs. Carnegie, Andrew Carnegie's mother. Having been born in Pittsburgh, PA I am very familiar with the name Andrew Carnegie. I was pleased as punch to be approved for this book. Very fascinating story of a young girl, one of the many Irish immigrants coming to America to find work after the potato famine. Having a very common name of Clara Kelly she poses as the Clara Kelly who dies on the ship on her way to America. That Clara Kelly was on her way to a well paying position as a ladies maid for Mrs. Carnegie, Andrew Carnegie's mother. She became that Clara. Times were desperate in Ireland and she does what she must to survive . Mrs. Carnegie may suspect she was not really a ladies maid for the finer homes in Ireland but being a recent immigrant herself she is still feeling her way around proper society. Clara learns her duties as she works and tries not to let on how impressed she is by the opulence in the Carnegie home. Andrew Carnegie catches her reading in the library of his home several times and is impressed with her mind and they read poetry together. He starts to have feelings for her but she can not act on the feeling she may have for him. After all she is his mother's maid, a lowly servant in her own eyes. She can not risk anything happening to her station in life. Her family depends greatly on her sending money back home to Ireland so they can even eat. Her father has lost his job and her sister's take in sewing barely keeping food on the table and now they have lost their farm. A relationship with her employer is just out of the question. None of the other servants besides a Mr. Ford like her in the Carnegie home. Andrew's feeling burn for her for years and he is ready to marry her and tell his mother. But......... Mother spends hours away from home without Clara and she always takes Clara with her when she goes out so Clara can help her. Secrets are uncovered.lies are unearthed and miseries rise to the surface. This I was so sad to see I really wish it could have had a different outcome. I loved reading about all the many Pittsburgh towns and streets that I am familiar with. I do wish more depth was put into the writing about the Carnegie Free library . This was hardly spoken of and it is such an important part of who Carnegie was and what Pittsburgh is. Overall I am so glad to have read this fascinating book.Pub Date 01 Jan 2018 Thank you to NetGally and SOURCEBOOKS Landmark for a eview copy in exchang for my honest opinion.
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  • jendlo
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 starsHailing from Pittsburgh's East End, I was eager to read this book — overeager, after having loved the author's previous historical novel, The Other Einstein.The central theme is the same (the man's legacy is due to the woman), but the basis of the plot differs: the other stems from debate; this one is invented.I would not have minded, if it were realistic, but it isn't. At the 78% mark, I was done suspending disbelief.It took me several sittings just to get that far. After a strong star 2.5 starsHailing from Pittsburgh's East End, I was eager to read this book — overeager, after having loved the author's previous historical novel, The Other Einstein.The central theme is the same (the man's legacy is due to the woman), but the basis of the plot differs: the other stems from debate; this one is invented.I would not have minded, if it were realistic, but it isn't. At the 78% mark, I was done suspending disbelief.It took me several sittings just to get that far. After a strong start, (1) the narrative becomes as monotonous as Clara's job (I laughed when I thought to myself, How many times must I read of her darning?!, and then saw, "Sometimes I felt like needlework was all I did."), and (2) the author doesn't weave the facts into the story but rather tosses them in — often in conversations that one almost needs to chart as Clara does, in order to follow.Perhaps it's my bad for anticipating the author would deliver another story revolving around historical figures, not one in which they serve to frame what's more the story of immigration (and slavery) during the Fenian era (at the end of the American Civil War) using made-up characters.For anyone interested more in Andrew Carnegie than in fictional characters under his mother's employ, there is a host of nonfiction books. Here is my short list (the latter half are personal faves): Carnegie's autobiography Nasaw's biography of Carnegie The Tycoons The World's Richest Neighborhood The Johnstown Flood Fallingwater Rising Thank you to Sourcebooks and Netgalley for the ARC.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review.1860's, Clara Kelley immigrates to America to work and help support her desperately poor family back in Ireland. She is employed as a lady's maid in the home of the prominent businessman Andrew Carnegie. As a relationship develops between Clara and Andrew, the glaring differences between their two classes eventually spur Andrew to become the philanthropic figure that we know.As in "The Other Einstein", the author writes about a very str I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review.1860's, Clara Kelley immigrates to America to work and help support her desperately poor family back in Ireland. She is employed as a lady's maid in the home of the prominent businessman Andrew Carnegie. As a relationship develops between Clara and Andrew, the glaring differences between their two classes eventually spur Andrew to become the philanthropic figure that we know.As in "The Other Einstein", the author writes about a very strong female character who rises above adversity. 3☆
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  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    "Carnegie’s Maid”, set in the late 1860’s, takes us into the home of one of the richest men in the world and one of the greatest philanthropists of all time – Andrew Carnegie. The story is revealed through the first person account of Clara Kelley, an Irish immigrant who becomes the “lady’s maid” to Mrs. Carnegie, Andrew’s mother. Clara, strong and determined, has come to America on the chance of finding a job that will allow her to send much needed funds back to her family in Ireland. Clara lear "Carnegie’s Maid”, set in the late 1860’s, takes us into the home of one of the richest men in the world and one of the greatest philanthropists of all time – Andrew Carnegie. The story is revealed through the first person account of Clara Kelley, an Irish immigrant who becomes the “lady’s maid” to Mrs. Carnegie, Andrew’s mother. Clara, strong and determined, has come to America on the chance of finding a job that will allow her to send much needed funds back to her family in Ireland. Clara learned quickly to adapt to a country and a position that were totally foreign to her. We also see the disparities among the economic classes – the lavishness and extravagance of the wealthy against the suffering of the poor – through Clara’s unique position in both worlds.Ms. Benedict’s writing drew me into Clara’s life and her determination to put her family’s needs over her desires. The writing allowed me to feel her loneliness from being away from her family and her isolation in the Carnegie’s home by the servants. The moments of kindness from her only friend in the house - the cook, Mr. Ford – were touching and showed her depth of compassion for others. Clara’s astuteness is revealed when through observation of Mrs. Carnegie’s stained and chapped hands obtained through decades of hard work, she realizes that Mrs. Carnegie is also trying to fit into a society foreign to her. When Clara visited cousins already living in Pittsburgh, I felt her utter despair and frustration over the poverty they were forced to live in; and I applauded her grit and determination to face social injustices head-on. The role of Clara in Andrew Carnegie’s life is fictional; however it made for a lovely romantic story – the master of the house falling in love with the maid. Clara took an interest in his business dealings, and he listened closely to her ideas and opinions. And in the end, she changed his total view of the world. I was left curious as to what really did change his view. He came to America determined to make his fortunes and did so through the steel industry. Then in the end, he realized that was not what life was about and devoted his life to philanthropy. He established more than 2500 public libraries around the world and made endowments to research in science, education, and world peace, among others. And we can’t forget the fabulous Carnegie Hall. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was totally engrossed in it. It is educational in its presentation of the social classes at the time. At the end I went back and re-read the Prologue which made Andrew’s change of heart so much more powerful.
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  • Sandra Bunino
    January 1, 1970
    Downton Abbey meets History Channel's The Men Who Built America!I picked up the ARC at BookExpo and I'm so glad I did! Carnegie's Maid is a fictional tale based on the rise of the Carnegies during the industrial revolution. Benedict's forward explains how she pondered the reasoning behind iron magnate Andrew Carnegie's philanthropic endeavors. Perhaps, his passion was spurred by someone who saw life in America in a different light. Benedict used inspiration from her own family tree to develop th Downton Abbey meets History Channel's The Men Who Built America!I picked up the ARC at BookExpo and I'm so glad I did! Carnegie's Maid is a fictional tale based on the rise of the Carnegies during the industrial revolution. Benedict's forward explains how she pondered the reasoning behind iron magnate Andrew Carnegie's philanthropic endeavors. Perhaps, his passion was spurred by someone who saw life in America in a different light. Benedict used inspiration from her own family tree to develop the wonderful character of Clara Kelly. This well-written story will sweep you into the the streets of 1800s Pittsburgh and New York City where you'll visit the lives of both the very wealthy and poor but proud during this rich story. I highly recommend this book!
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