Carnegie's Maid | ARC Review

"Man must have an idol - the amassing of wealth is one of the worst species of idolatry - no idol more debasing than the worship of money."

There is nothing more satisfying than jumping into a book and becoming immediately drawn in by the characters, plot, and issues it presents. Such is the case with Carnegie's Maid.

I received an advanced copy of this delightful book from NetGalley for an honest review. Just like As You Wish, which I did last month. You can read that here.

Unlike my disappointment with that novel, I really can't find many negative things to say about Carnegie's Maid. I love a good historical fiction, and while this is not quite the time era I prefer, I found it refreshing and couldn't wait to explore more of it.

The book is set in the 1860's and follows the story of Clara Kelley, an Irish immigrant hoping to make a living in Philadelphia so she can send money back to her family so they don't lose their farm. Clara is educated, despite her considerably low status, which makes it slightly easier for her to adopt her role of lady's maid to Mrs. Carnegie when she's thrown into it.

This book touches upon quite a few subjects such as slavery, politics, status, and the aspects of business and wealth. My favorite character is John Ford, a black cook in the home, who as you can imagine is affected by the slave situation. He used to be a slave on a plantation and escaped, but his wife and daughter were left behind. When Abraham Lincoln passes the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, his family is still missing, though are being looked for. He is a caring and sweet person, and Clara's only friend in the home. Which just makes him all the more endearing.

When it comes to Andrew Carnegie, you can tell that there is some creative liberty being used. But as the man bounced between good and bad decisions throughout his career, I feel the author used that to her advantage and I don't have any issues with how she made him appear in this novel. Especially as a love interest.

All in all, this was a very smart read and I would recommend this to anyone. If you're a historical fiction reader like myself but have a specific niche, I would seriously, seriously recommend branching out. This was a long shot for me and could have gone so wrong, but I loved it! Because of Marie Benedict and Clara Kelley, I will be searching for more in different eras.

*This post is not sponsored, though I was provided an ARC, and all opinions are my own, as always*