Carnegie's Maid

Carnegie's Maid

by Marie Benedict


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492662709
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 10,718
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

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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Carnegie's Maid 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We just came back from a trip to Ireland and so much of what we learned was written about in this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an A1 book. I could hardly put it down. I love it and highly recommend it. This author is amazing to be able to "fill in the blanks" like she has. I wont forget her name.
ReadingwithErin More than 1 year ago
I originally got an e-arc on Netgalley, but I ended up reading a physical copy from the library. “As Mrs. Barrett Browning says, ‘The world of books is still the world.” Going into this book I was a little nervous because of how loved this author is. After reading this one, I totally get the hype and I cannot wait to go back and read her debut book. Clara Kelly is such a realistic character. She's from a farming family in Ireland who has been hit hard by the potato famine and is now struggling to make ends meet. To try and fix this her parents decided that it would be best for one of their children to go to America and look for work there and then send money home. Clara was the one chosen and was able to get an amazing job by chance. Clara ends up working for the Carnegie family as a ladies maid to Andrew Carnegie's mother. This is something that she just has to learn and as she goes because of certain things. This part was a lot like other ladies maid stories, things get interesting though when she starts to become friends with Andrew. This friendship is a little weird I'll admit as he is her boss and things could happen. Clara and Andrew have a friendship based on knowledge and there want to talk to one another about certain topics. Clara also sees it as possibly way for her to learn how to earn more money. I really enjoyed their conversations and how they really were friends despite the social rules that had been put in place to stop them. We also get to see Clara's cousins and how other immigrants from Ireland lived in America and how hard they had to work for so little. Overall I really did love this book. Seeing both high and low society at the same time. While also learning more about Mr. Carnegie was really fascinating to me. It was also very eye opening with how certain things have changed in America, yet so much is still the same. I highly recommend this book, and I know this review doesn't do it justice.
nhr3bookcrazyNR More than 1 year ago
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.
Eire2011 More than 1 year ago
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!
Quitterstrip More than 1 year ago
Here we are again, with a book breaking the stereotypes of history classes. All throughout high school we are inundated with men: presidents, inventors, business proposals. Reading these historical fiction books however, gives me hope that ideally, women are the backbone of everything these men did. Goading them on in lucrative business proposals, pushing for presidency because they had a good heart, making friends in that inner most circle to gain a vantage point. What if, most (I’m giving men the benefit of the doubt here) men’s brilliant ideas, stemmed from a simple pillow talk with their wife? In a time where women were more for tea parties, and social events, it’s encouraging to think that woman were just as forward thinking as we are today. It angers me to know that in the past people like me, who are openly opinionated, and not full of decorum, would be looked down upon because I couldn’t keep a comment to myself. Granted, that comment would be dripping with cynicism, but that’s who I am. And I know for a fact I wouldn’t last long in that time period. Just like in “The Other Einstein”, it feels that for far too long men have been running with ideas stemmed from women and reaping the benefits. All the while women have been scraping nothing but bottom, trying to carve out a place for themselves. I love hearing untold stories of women, even if they are historical fiction. Again, Marie Benedict knocks it out of the park with “Carnegie’s Maid”. I earnestly hope that he continues her work with untold stories of great women hidden in the monstrous shadows of men.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful! Found myself immersed in this all week and didn't want it to end. Learned a ton -- fascinating time period and people -- and just totally enjoyed my time with this book.
HelgaN More than 1 year ago
I received this from in exchange for a honest review. I feel that in giving a review you do not need to write what the story is about. I do wish to say that I really liked the characters and the plot of the story. I absolutely adore historical fictions, and this book did not disappoint. Hope to read more of Marie Benedict's books in the future.
teachlz More than 1 year ago
My Review of “Carnegie’s Maid” by Marie Benedict I enjoyed reading “Carnegie’s Maid” by Marie Benedict. The Genres for this story are Historical Fiction and Fiction. I appreciate the way that Marie Benedict weaves the fictional and historical components of this story together, as in a marriage. The timeline for this story takes place in the 1860’s. The contrast between the have and have-nots, and the rich and poor is evident. The hardships on Immigrants as they entered the United States is shown, as well as the newly freed slaves and their problems. The author describes her characters as complicated and complex. Some are ambitious for power, and wealth. Others are ambitious to survive. Clara Kelly, a young Irish immigrant arrives after a long dangerous voyage, where other immigrants died. A woman calls her name, and Clara Kelly answers, finally realizing that it is another Clara Kelly the woman is seeking. Clara goes with her and finds herself in the employment of the prominent Carnegie family, and becomes Mrs. Carnegie’s personal maid. Clara sends whatever funds she has home to Ireland to her desperate family. Clara is fascinated by books, and meets Andrew Carnegie, who appreciates her literary tastes. Andrew gets to look forward to discussing literature with Clara. The two are attracted to one another, but being from different classes, Clara is very cautious. As Clara sees how ruthless and successful Andrew can be in business, she becomes aware of the people who have lost their jobs because of his financial dealings. Somehow, the author describes that Andrew Carnegie becoming a famous Philanthropist, paving the way for free libraries, and education, from possibly Clara’s influence. I would recommend this novel to readers of Historical Fiction. I received an Advanced Reading Copy for my honest review.
onemused More than 1 year ago
“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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really well written. Enjoyed the premise and all the characters.
Ivy-Crush More than 1 year ago
Love this author. This book was so different from her first novel, THE OTHER EINSTEIN, but in everything she writes you become totally immersed in the historical period. Learn so much without even trying! :-)
lauriesophee More than 1 year ago
"I learned that when you've gone astray, a helping hand will always emerge from the darkness." I loved the writing of this novel! The details were amazing. The compassion and yearning Clara demonstrated to improve the lives of herself and her family, as she crossed the ocean to work and survive in the United States and serve as a lady's maid was felt while reading each page of this book. The resilience and goals Clara set at a time when women could not do this; was intriguing! Historical fiction, love story and so much more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jojosmodernlife More than 1 year ago
Carnegie's Maid is a romantic approach to the tale of the iconic Carnegie family and offers an idea of perhaps why the family turned to philanthropy once they built their wealth. This story also includes a focus on the struggles of immigrants as well as how the Civil War and President Lincoln's assassination impacted people of all classes. I really liked the juxtaposition of the subservient side of Clara when she is Mrs. Carnegie's maid with her bold businesswoman side when she is sneaking in secret moments with Andrew Carnegie. Furthermore, I liked the innocence of their romance despite the imbalance of power as well as both of their loyalties to their respective families. My favorite character in this book was Mr. Ford. I would go on further, however, I do not wish to spoil anything. Therefore, I will simply state that his character seemed to be the most generous in that he was generous with his good attitude and generous in doing small good deeds for others. One of the reasons why I did not give this book 5 stars is because it kind of dragged on at certain points as if length was the goal rather than depth. Another reason is because the antagonist was weak, however, I am not even sure if it is the character that I am thinking of or if the antagonist is supposed to be a group of people. Lastly, I did not care for how Andrew Carnegie conveniently appeared (and appeared quite often) when Clara was alone. For those who may be triggered or offended: the only things that I could find within the book were poverty, pollution, religious themes, and death. Please note: an electronic copy of this book was generously provided for free from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Nisa_Durak 8 months ago
Wow... This was a great read for me. :))) I really want to talk about this book's ending and if I talk about it I would give spoilers so I won't say anything about that. :)) I would recommend to everyone who likes historical fiction. And this book was the first book that goes on my favorites list that published this year or will be published. Don't miss it. I would surely read Marie Benedict's other book (The Other Einstein) :))) The story happens in the 1860s. This story begins with giving us the little glimpse of how it will end and just with this first and last time we will see from Andrew's POV how he feel about all the things happened. The way he thinks was enough for me to like him from the beginning. Even though Clara was gone and he didn't have any idea why she left him and why she didn't say anything to him, he seemed to keep his words. This is one of his thoughts make me feel like this. "This is precisely the sort of status-seeking, greedy thinking that Clara would have loathed. He had vowed to her that he would carve out a different path from those materialistic industrialists and society folk, and he would keep that vow, even though she was gone." This was what he thought to himself. After this, we go to the beginning of Clara's story and we just read the story from her POV. I would love to read time to time from Andrew's (Mr. Carnegie) POV. Well, it doesn't matter I loved it anyway. Clara leaves her country for America because of the family's financial difficulties and her over cleverness for a farm girl so she wasn't suitable to be a farmer wife. After the journey on the ocean, she arrived in America and with luck (this come to me little too much luck to be believable but I think it can happen not impossible) she began working as a Mrs. Carnegie's Maid even though she didn't have any clue how she can be one. Even though she struggles with her duties as a maid she handles it with luck (her Mrs. doesn't have any clue too about how a maid should act :)), with a great effort and cleverness. After a while, she began to talk with Mr. Carnegie (Andrew) and then the story goes on with they began to like each other (even though she doesn't accept he was really direct about it with words). I loved Andrew and Clara as a person and the way they act towards each other. There was a lot of side characters even though they weren't well known for us with the way they act in the story they were real for me. I don't know anything about how was America in the 1860s (history not my province) but the story makes me feel like it was real. I loved how she handles problems by observing everything. She was a lovely character and strong girl who doesn't satisfy with just what she has but always search a way to improve herself and saves her family. Even when she was angry towards Andrew she shows empathy towards him and judges herself too. I loved the way Andrew talk with her and care what she feels about anything he does how they improve each other and how easily he accepts her cleverness. In shortly I loved anything about this book, I just wanted it to be longer and to read from Andrew's POV too :))))
Anonymous 8 months ago
During the Irish potato famine, Clara Kelley immigrates to America, she's hoping to find her distant cousin Patrick and a job. Her family is struggling, she's the obvious one to emigrate to America being the smartest in her family and they desperately need her to send money home. Clara endures the long voyage to America on the Envoy, in steerage and it's a nightmare. When she arrives, she is mistaken for another woman, they have the exact same name but they come from very different social backgrounds! Taking a big chance, she doesn't mention she isn't the gentile Clara Kelley and she's soon on her way to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Clara is to be the new ladies maid for Mr Andrew Carnegie's rich Scottish mother and she has no idea how she will manage? Mrs Carnegie's is difficult to please, set in her ways and being her lady's maid isn't a easy job. Clara is kept busy all day, into the evening attending to Mrs Carnegie's needs and she's learns very quickly how to keep her mistress happy. Due to her position as a lady's maid the other staff employed at the mansion are not very friendly to Clara and the only person that's nice to her is the cook Mr Ford. Clara is home sick, misses her family terribly and is anxiously waiting to hear from them. Clara finds herself in a unique situation, due to her duties as a maid, she's present when the Mrs Carnegie and her son Andrew discuss details about the family business. Andrew Carnegie is a interesting man, he can be friendly, happy and he's not a snob. But he's ruthless in his business interests, he's rich, powerful and he never want's to be poor again. He discovers Clara visiting the library in the mansion, he asks her questions and is shocked the find out how well educated she is! They start to talking to each other, they secretly meet while Clara is running errands for Mrs Carnegie and it becomes very obvious that Andrew has feelings for Clara. Clara is very cautious, she's heard so many stories about poor Irish girls being taken advantage of by rich men and she also has to maintain her cover. She can't let her guard down, her family are only just surviving on her money she sends them and can she trust Andrew Carnegie? Soon she and Andrew are discussing business ideas, ways to make money and what would Mrs Carnegie think about her son considering marrying her lady's maid? I enjoyed Carnegie's Maid, it makes you think about what it's like to be poor, how hard it is to escape poverty and what lengths you would go to save your own family? Would you tell the truth or would you jump at the chance of taking a well paid job and hide a terrible secret? It's the first book I have read by Marie Benedict, I loved it and I gave it four stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. Truly enjoyed it. I did not want to put it down. Amazing !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Eclectic Review More than 1 year ago
"He had vowed to her that he would carve out a different path from those materialistic industrialists and society folk, and he would keep that vow, even though she was gone." Clara Kelley is in America as a source of income to help her family in Ireland. Expecting to work in the textile mills or as a domestic when she arrives, fate (in the form of a misunderstanding) changes her path to become a lady's maid for the matriarch of one of the wealthiest families in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An occupation she knows nothing about, but fortunately, Clara is intuitive and intelligent and learns as she goes without anyone catching on. Then Clara meets Andrew Carnegie, steel tycoon, eldest and favored son of her mistress. His intellect and charm are attractive, but his ruthlessness and elitist ideals are not. However, Clara's sense of justice and hunger for knowledge about his business change Mr. Carnegie for the better. Is Clara the catalyst for his philanthropy endeavors? I enjoy historical fiction and Ms. Benedict gives the reader a "research-based fictional story" that contemplates what if a lady's maid like Clara inspired Andrew Carnegie, known for his callous treatment of others, to suddenly become the world's first philanthropist building free libraries around the world for all classes to educate themselves. This book also contains subjects such as class distinction, slavery and post-Civil War industry. This is an interesting take on the personal life of Andrew Carnegie told from a maid's perspective, and I really enjoyed the history of Pittsburgh and the historical fashion and etiquette between servant and master. This story made me want to read more about Andrew Carnegie. This novel will appeal to readers who like historical romances set in mid to late 19th-Century America.
9511015 More than 1 year ago
never showed in my Nook for me to read