Carnegie's Maid

Carnegie's Maid

A Novel

Book - 2018
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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.
Publisher: Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks Landmark, 2018.
ISBN: 9781492646617
Characteristics: 281 p. ; 24 cm.


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Feb 13, 2021

This was a very good fictional read about the Carnegie family and the relationships with staff in this time period. A love story, but also historically accurate. A possible explanation as to Andrew Carnegie's interest in starting free libraries and other initiatives to help lower income families.

dognamedmozart Sep 21, 2020

I found Carnegie's Maid to be charming in its own little unique way. The book started off a little far-fetched by the way the author introduces the main character into the Carnegie's world, but once you get past that it definitely held my interest. I found myself caught up in the Carnegie World (I googled a lot too :)!) It also does a great job intertwining historical facts into the fictional basis of the story. I would definitely recommend it; would be a great read for book clubs!

Jul 20, 2020

I enjoyed the story but I wanted more. I was a little disappointed by the end.

May 15, 2020

This was an enjoyable easy read. A love story between the "haves" and "have nots". While I thought it bordered on unbelievable, I appreciate the research and telling of the fictionalized account between Andrew Carnegie and his mother's maid Clara. If you like Downton Abbey (I do!,) you'll LOVE Carnegie's Maid.

An excellent story capturing the upstairs-downstairs life of a young Irish woman working in a grand house in the Homewood area of Pittsburgh, PA. The author accurately describes the living conditions of the Pittsburgh population living near the steel mills at the turn of the century. The details are accurate about Carnegie's relatives and his business dealings and later philanthropy to found the first public libraries. A fictional romance.

Sep 20, 2019

I really enjoyed this book, much more than the author’s other book “The Only Woman in the Room.” Yes it seemed more like modern day romance set in a historic time period but it was still enjoyable and educational to read. You will root for Clara as she is determined to make herself indispensable to the Carnegies and feel for her when she misses her family back home. Overall I found the storyline straightforward and very easy to read.

Jul 19, 2019

Loved this book, easy read too.

May 17, 2019


Mar 08, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had a lot of history in it, the potato famine in Ireland in the 1850's and uprisings that came about due to the English diverting wheat from Ireland to other markets when the Irish were literally starving. It has an interesting part about the main character's extended family who had moved to Pittsburgh prior to her arrival but they were starving there in the midst of filth and soot from the mills and other businesses in the city. The Carnegie story was interesting, shows how immigrants can benefit the USA(of course that was before insider trading was illegal and they were from Scotland thus not brown or black). Fans of Downton Abbey would also like this as the job of lady's maid was fleshed out- many hours, little pay, no one would socialize with her - neither the family nor the "downstairs" employees. Thumbs up!

Oct 02, 2018

Interesting read for anyone interested in early immigration, and Andrew Carnegie.
Subject matter kept me reading at a good clip and I found myself downloading the autobiography of Andrew Carnegie after reading Marie Benedict's 'Author's Note' which I would suggest reading before starting the novel.

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