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Carnegie's Maid: A Novel
By: Marie Benedict
List Price: $25.99
Your Price: $16.68
(as of: 10/23/18)
Manufacturer: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 149264661X
Publication Date: 2018-01-16
Release Date 2018-01-16
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours


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Product Description:

The USA Today Bestseller

From the author of The Other Einstein comes 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 she 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.



The identity of Clara Kelly is all too easy to assume, and as just another immigrant girl from Ireland, our “Clara Kelly” takes the ride offered to her intended destination – Pittsburgh. The opportunity is too good to pass up, providential it might be said, and impossible to dismiss out of hand. Clara is intended to serve as lady’s maid to Margaret Carnegie, mother of the up and coming Andrew Carnegie himself. Clara soon finds herself more at ease in her role, although she can’t help but worry if her identity will someday be revealed to her mistress.

Clara has not gone unnoticed by Andrew, and during their meetings in a local park they forge a bond over discussions focused on Andrew’s plans. His thirst for knowledge – and his willingness to share his knowledge and bounce ideas off Clara seals their relationship. Clara knows that they can never take Andrew’s desire for marriage any further, but the decision is taken from her hands after a chance encounter by Mrs. Carnegie. A poor immigrant girl has few choices and even fewer opportunities, but Clara must find her own way – and her own destiny.

Although Carnegie’s Maid could appear to be a simple romance story, it most certainly is much more than that. While Andrew Carnegie was known to be a strong-willed tycoon, this story shows a gentler side of the steel magnate, and highlights the man’s deep interest in and respect for knowledge and education. The impact of his access to a “reading library” does not go missed in terms of Carnegie’s funding of over 2500 public and university libraries throughout the United States in a span of over 40 years, an idea spurred by his (fictional) discussions with Clara Kelly.

Carnegie’s Maid is fast-paced and interesting, blending the reality of the immigrant experience with the industrial age, contrasting a Scottish man with an Irish farm girl who are both driven to succeed yet limited in quite different ways. “Clara Kelly” can be any immigrant girl from the early twentieth century, sent by her family to help earn money to send home and forge a path to a better life for herself and her family. While Andrew Carnegie’s storied history is well known, this glimpse into a more personal appreciation of his earlier days is fascinating. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this unique and well written story told from a fresh and captivating perspective.

 
By: Joyce Greenfield, ReaderToReader.com


 
     
 
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