Carving A Different Path
To me, Andrew Carnegie was just a name of someone long gone. Carnegie’s Maid has educated me to see the man behind the name.
The novel is written in the first person from the point of view of Clara, Carnegie’s mother’s maid. Both Clara and Carnegie’s mother were poor immigrants, one from Ireland, one from Scotland. They both rose or fell using their own wits. They both cared deeply for their family and would do anything for them, although their methods differed.
Education brings freedom. In a land where the civil war was fought over freedom and the issue of slavery, no man can be truly free without education. Education must be available to all.
The novel has a huge social conscience. For some, money is a god. “No idol more debasing than the worship of money.” Money on a pedestal is harmful. Money must be used wisely. Money brings choice. We must be good stewards of our money.
The leading ladies have both received education to survive in a man’s world. “Your father educated you to think like a man.” One lady uses her mind to help others. The other merely wishes to rise through the ranks and to keep the wolves from her door. Society can be a hard master and fickle – letting in only those who are useful and of benefit.
We all play roles in life. Basing our foundation on a lie surely means that sooner or later, we are destined to fall.
The leading lady is very much a modern woman in the mid nineteenth century with her business acumen, social conscience and education. She brings out the best in others and opens eyes to the plight of the poor.
Carnegie’s Maid is an epic read. It educates the reader at the same time as entertaining. Andrew Carnegie is no longer just a name. He is a fully rounded person with a good heart.
Marie Benedict always writes novels that open the reader’s eyes to famous historical figures. They became living, breathing figures that it is a pleasure to get to know.
Carnegie’s Maid is a fabulous read and one that will remain long after the book is ended.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.