Mini Book Review: Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict

Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict

What It’s About:

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 Clara Kelley 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 she 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 will become 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.

My thoughts:

Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict was an overall pleasant read. It was a quick read and had a steady pace that kept me interested. I want to keep this review short and sweet because I’m currently reading another book that I want to get back to! So, I will share some bullet points on what I liked and didn’t like.

What I liked:

  • beautiful descriptions of the setting
  • the main character, Clara, was intelligent and independent
  • the themes of immigration, working class, wealth, industrialization in mid-late 19th century America

What I didn’t like:

The only thing I didn’t like was the ending. The story was left open ended, which I was ok with until I read the epilogue. The interesting part of the main story for me was how Clara went from an Irish immigrant to a working class woman with promising prospects to improve her circumstances at the end. Then epilogue picked up 30 years later (in the year 1900) and the description of Clara’s life at that point really had me wanting to know more about how she reached it. I just felt like there was a big gap there that would have made for a great story.

Have you read this book? I’d love to hear what you thought!


  1. Wonderful review. I have not read this one, but it is on my TBR and I have both the ebook and audiobook to do a read/listen. I think the 30 year gap will also bother me, but I shall see. I guess it is so we can imagine.

    • Wow! So you definitely have the chance to read/listen. It’s hard for me to imagine since I don’t have a lot of knowledge on that particular era and the history of the particular profession she chose. I would have to do extra research 🤪

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