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.
Thank you to Ms. Benedict, SOURCEBOOKS Landmark and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book!
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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. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College with a focus in History and Art History, and a cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Law. While practicing as a lawyer, Marie dreamed of a fantastical job unearthing the hidden historical stories of women — and finally found it when she tried her hand at writing. She embarked on a new, narratively connected series of historical novels with THE OTHER EINSTEIN, which tells the tale of Albert Einstein’s first wife, a physicist herself, and the role she might have played in his theories. Writing as Heather Terrell, Marie also published the historical novels The Chrysalis, The Map Thief, and Brigid of Kildare.
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