“What did it say about society that the best a lowborn educated girl could hope for was respectable servitude?”
Clara Kelly leaves Ireland to find a better life for her in America and to send money back home to her family. Wandering the streets, not knowing where to look for work or shelter, she hears someone call her name. Taking a chance, she responds and finds out a Clara Kelly has been hired to become a paid servant at someone’s house in America. Her education and quick thinking land her at the home of Andrew Carnegie, serving as his mother’s lady maid. She keeps her eyes and ears open and learns how things work in the Carnegie’s world, all while keeping her real identity and history a secret.
I really enjoyed reading Marie Benedict’s The Other Einstein, so when I saw she had a new book release, I put it on hold through the local library for an ebook. I waited several weeks before it became available. It was worth the wait and I’m glad so many people are reading this historical fiction story.
Clara and Andrew strike up a friendship as Clara learns about business in America and Andrew asks her for advice. While Andrew often talks about his father’s immigrant roots, Clara realizes he has actually forgotten how hard the typical American immigrant struggles to make ends meet. His decisions are based on what is best for his business – not for people. Clara tries to show him what he is doing and makes a lasting impression that changes Andrew – and America.
I highly recommend this book to readers who love fiction, especially historical fiction. The characters come to life right away and I really could relate to each of the characters in some way. One slight distracting thing was Clara’s thoughts being in present tense, but it was still easy to read. I like that the author clarifies at the end of her books what is fact and what is fiction in her books.