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.