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Carnegie's Maid

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Carnegie's Maid
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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..

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..
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Product Details
Sales Rank:
29,392
Pages:
288
Publication Date:
01/16/2018
ISBN13:
9781492646617
Product Dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x1.20(d)
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
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About the Author
Marie Benedict is a lawyer with more than ten years' experience as a litigator at two of the country's premier law firms and for Fortune 500 companies.
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Editorial Reviews
10/09/2017
Andrew Carnegie’s impetus to take up philanthropy is explored in this excellent historical novel. Benedict (The Other Einstein) begins with Carnegie’s letter to himself from December 1868, in which he pledges most of his fortune “for benevolent purposes.” The story then turns to farmer’s daughter Clara Kelley, who travels in steerage from Ireland; upon landing in Philadelphia in 1863, she is mistaken for an identically named fellow passenger who has died during the passage. Desperate to improve her family’s fortune, she assumes the other Clara’s place as a lady’s maid to the formidable Margaret Carnegie, mother to brothers Andrew and Tom. Clara’s education and sharp wit allow her to carry off the deception and, indeed, her intellect brings her to Andrew’s attention. She earns his respect and even affection, but differences in status make any prospect of a relationship unlikely. While there are elements of Cinderella, Benedict doesn’t let herself or her characters stray from historical realities. The true reason for Carnegie’s transformation from industrialist to builder of libraries for all remains a mystery, but Benedict’s imagination supplies a delightful possibility. Agent: Laura Dail, Laura Dail Literary Agency. (Jan.)Correction: An earlier version of this review misspelled the name of the author's agent."Feels like Downton Abbey in the United States...Benedict demonstrates the relevance of history to the present day in this impeccably researched novel of the early immigrant experience. Deeply human, and brimming with complex, vulnerable characters, CARNEGIE'S MAID shows the power of ambition tempered by altruism, and the true realization of the American Dream." - Erika Robuck, national bestselling author of Hemingway's Girl

"In CARNEGIE'S MAID, Marie Benedict skillfully introduces us to Clara, a young woman who immigrates to American in the 1860s and unexpectedly becomes the maid to Andrew Carnegie's mother. Clara becomes close to Andrew Carnegie and helps to make him America's first philanthropist. Downton Abbey fans should flock to this charming tale of fateful turns and unexpected romance, and the often unsung role of women in history." - Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan's Tale

"With its well-drawn characters, good pacing, and excellent sense of time and place, this volume should charm lovers of historicals, romance, and the Civil War period. Neither saccharine nor overly dramatized, it's a very satisfying read. " - Library Journal

"Marie Benedict has penned a sensational novel that turns the conventional Cinderella story into an all-American triumph. Young Clara Kelley steps off the boat from Ireland into Andrew Carnegie's affluent world, where invention can transform men and women into whatever they dare to dream." - Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of The Mapmaker's Children and The Baker's Daughter

"[an] excellent historical novel." - Publishers Weekly

"...engaging. The chaste romance will draw readers of inspirational fiction, while the novel is constructed to appeal to those seeking a tale with an upstairs-downstairs dynamic and all-but-invisible female characters who are either the impetus for or the actual originators of great men's great ideas. For Fans of Liz Trenow, Erika Robuck, and Nancy Horan. " - Booklist

"I loved everything about this book... A little drama, a little romance, and a well-told story... Highly recommended." - Sherry Fritzsche, Bank Square Books (Mystic, CT)

"A special addition to the Downton Abbey canon...an absorbing exploration of the influence one plucky young woman might have had on this pioneering philanthropist. " - Toronto Star

"Fascinating story..." - Bustle"Feels like Downton Abbey in the United States...Benedict demonstrates the relevance of history to the present day in this impeccably researched novel of the early immigrant experience. Deeply human, and brimming with complex, vulnerable characters, CARNEGIE'S MAID shows the power of ambition tempered by altruism, and the true realization of the American Dream." - Erika Robuck, national bestselling author of Hemingway's Girl

"In CARNEGIE'S MAID, Marie Benedict skillfully introduces us to Clara, a young woman who immigrates to American in the 1860s and unexpectedly becomes the maid to Andrew Carnegie's mother. Clara becomes close to Andrew Carnegie and helps to make him America's first philanthropist. Downton Abbey fans should flock to this charming tale of fateful turns and unexpected romance, and the often unsung role of women in history." - Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan's Tale

"With its well-drawn characters, good pacing, and excellent sense of time and place, this volume should charm lovers of historicals, romance, and the Civil War period. Neither saccharine nor overly dramatized, it's a very satisfying read. " - Library Journal

"Marie Benedict has penned a sensational novel that turns the conventional Cinderella story into an all-American triumph. Young Clara Kelley steps off the boat from Ireland into Andrew Carnegie's affluent world, where invention can transform men and women into whatever they dare to dream." - Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of The Mapmaker's Children and The Baker's Daughter

"[an] excellent historical novel." - Publishers Weekly

"...engaging. The chaste romance will draw readers of inspirational fiction, while the novel is constructed to appeal to those seeking a tale with an upstairs-downstairs dynamic and all-but-invisible female characters who are either the impetus for or the actual originators of great men's great ideas. For Fans of Liz Trenow, Erika Robuck, and Nancy Horan. " - Booklist

"In spare prose, Wilson ratchets up the horror spawned by obsession to a bloody end. For those who tolerate intense, sometimes graphic fiction, this is mesmerizing." - Booklist09/01/2017
In 1863, Clara Kelley, a farm girl from County Galway, sails to America to procure employment, hoping to send money back to her impoverished family in Ireland. When she answers a call for a girl of the same name who perished aboard ship, Clara quickly assumes the identity of this unfortunate, which leads her to obtaining a better position than she could have hoped: lady's maid to Mrs. Carnegie, mother of the successful, talented businessman Andrew Carnegie. Clara quickly renders herself indispensable to her employer. However, her good sense and intelligence come to the notice of Andrew, and a bond formed over talk of commerce turns to a deeper affection. Unfortunately, Mrs. Carnegie learns of Clara's true origins. Can Andrew's love withstand learning her secret—or should Clara simply leave it all behind? Benedict's (The Other Einstein) second novel captures the rush of industry that accompanied the American Civil War and the men like Andrew Carnegie, who were truly self-made. VERDICT With its well-drawn characters, good pacing, and excellent sense of time and place, this volume should charm lovers of historicals, romance, and the Civil War period. Neither saccharine nor overly dramatized, it's a very satisfying read.—Pamela O'Sullivan, Coll. at Brockport Lib., SUNY

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Customer Reviews (16)
“Carnegie’s Maid” is an enthralling piece of historical fiction. T ...
“Carnegie’s Maid” is an enthralling piece of historical fiction. The prologue gives us Andrew’s perspective, which sets the tone for a mystery. He speaks about the maid and we know that something has happened to her but not what. We then go back to where it all began with Clara Kelly, Carnegie’s maid. We follow her perspective exclusively throughout the rest of the book in the first person. Although this book is framed around the Carnegies, I really found it to be more poignantly about immigration to the US in the mid-nineteenth century. Clara travels to America from Ireland as her family needs her to be able to make money and send it back to them- they are concerned about losing their tenancy on their farm. After a grueling voyage, Clara arrives in America with a stroke of luck- someone looking for Clara Kelly who wants to take her to Pittsburgh. The name is common, but as she does not have much cash, she takes the other Clara Kelly’s place. This Clara Kelly was destined to be a lady’s maid, a much better prospect than what could have awaited her on her own (with people taking advantage of new immigrants- and even those who “make it” live a tough life as we witness). Clara soon finds herself attending to Mrs. Carnegie, Andrew Carnegie’s mother, who helps him with his burgeoning business. Although the Carnegies were recent Irish immigrants themselves, they have burst their way into the upper class scene in Pittsburgh. We follow Clara as she navigates this new life and although her life is easy/lucky, she witnesses what it is like for other immigrants through the cousins she knows in Pittsburgh (and it’s not pretty). She is lucky to have been educated by her father, but even that education can only go so far in the new America. Additionally, she observes the way the Civil War impacts the classes differently- where the wealthy men can pay new immigrants to take their place on the battlefield. As the synopsis mentions, Clara runs into Andrew on occasion and a romance of sorts takes place. She observes his business dealings and contributes ideas of her own. I found that the romance between them was mild and took a backseat to the more engaging storyline of immigrants in America and the class lines that appeared and were carefully delineated, modeled after those in Europe. America was not so much the land of opportunity it appears, but did have the possibility for social mobility if one was able to make the right connections. We also glimpse into the life of an escaped slave through Mr. Ford, who serves in the Carnegie’s house as well- I wish we could have heard more from him, to help fully capture this time period in America. The book really focuses on the immigrant experience, and I found it really educational and engaging. I do wish there was some historical context at the end about the characters and how like the real people they are/were… I tried doing my own research, but information about less major characters was not easy to locate. This book seems very well researched, and I would be curious to learn more about the reality versus the fiction presented in the novel. Regardless, I found this to be a really fantastic and enthralling read, transporting the reader to mid-nineteenth century Pittsburgh (and New York). I would definitely be curious to read more from this talented author. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
- onemused
January 1, 2018
I enjoyed this story - and admired the character of Clara - her sp ...
I enjoyed this story - and admired the character of Clara - her spunk and courage. This is the first book I've read by this author, and I found myself transported back in time to the period from the very first sentence, and turning the pages as quickly as possible to see what would come next. I will definitely read more by this author.
- nhr3bookcrazyNR
January 29, 2018
I generously received a digital ARC in exchange for an honest revi ...
I generously received a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. This is the story about a young Irish immigrant named Clara Kelley who just happened to be in the right place at the right time and finds herself taking on the roll of Lady's Maid to Mrs. Carnegie and finds herself drawn to her son Andrew. Over the course of two years, Clara works hard to ignore her feelings for Andrew as the money from the job is a help to her family in Ireland while also trying to keep it a secret as to where she really came from. Clara learns a lot about herself, some of the business aspects of the Carnegie world in Pennsylvania and that sometimes fate has a different say as to how life can turn out. Full of tidbits of history, a bit of burns and the power of determination, it was a pleasure to read this book. The ending was unexpected and yet made sense considering the historical aspects of the real Andrew. I highly recommend checking this book out!
- Eire2011
January 24, 2018
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Carnegie's Maid
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Carnegie's Maid
Pub. Date: 01/16/2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks
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Carnegie's Maid
Pub. Date: 02/07/2018
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Carnegie's Maid
Pub. Date: 10/02/2018
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Pub. Date: 01/16/2018
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Carnegie's Maid
Pub. Date: 01/16/2018
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