Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict
Andrew Carnegie is perhaps better known for his philanthropy than his unethical (by today’s standards) business practices but what inspired him to give away his fortune and create public libraries across the nation? Author Marie Benedict combines some reality, some of her own family lore and very creative thinking to create an answer to that question.
Clare Kelley uses some of the little money her family has left to travel from Galway to New York City. There she hopes to find employment and be able to send money home so her family can join her in America. When Clara reaches the docks in New York there is a man calling her name. She follows the man to a carriage with two other women inside. Another Clara Kelley, who must have fallen ill and died during the journey, was due to be transported to Pittsburgh, there to become the ladies’s maid to Mrs. Carnegie. Clara does not correct the mistake and so begins her time in America as a maid to a very strong and wealthy woman.
Clara is smart and ambitious and young Andrew Carnegie, already a rich and powerful businessman, respects her mind and seeks out her advice on deals. Clara isn’t like the women he meets in society and he’s falling in love with her as she is falling for him. Can one of the wealthiest men in America marry a maid? Can a maid become a successful businesswoman? Will they find a happy ending even if it isn’t together?