Monday Book Review of Carnegie’s Maid

Having a library card of my own was a big deal when I was a kid. It was a passport to all kinds of worlds through the pages housed in the library.

I stepped back in time and now have a card. My local library which is about 5 minutes from my home is located outside I (by about 100 ft.) of the city limits. To get a card there I would have to spend over $300 because they go by the tax value of your home. It doesn’t matter that we pay taxes to the schools etc.

To get a card I could afford I went to a neighboring town. It gives me chills to walk in this library.

The Belleville Public Library is a Carnegie Library and while not as grand as the one in Nashville it still shines.

Carnegie Library brick building with 3 sets large windows on 2nd floor. Flagpole in front next to the steps, sidewalk and big leafy tree

The building was designed by Otto Rubach, a Belleville native. The building is designed in the Beaux Arts Style which the Carnegie Corporation preferred.

Inside the staircase has marble sides and a brass handrail! Just walking those steps to the second floor takes you back in time.

stepping inside the library, green and white marble walls, book cases , brass rail
Looking down to double wooden doors, marble steps, brass handrails, surrounded by green white marble, 3 photos of the library in frames , books in cases

So I checked out my first book using their digital system Hoopla. I thought this would be an appropriate read.

This book begins with a necessary lie that seems as if it will hurt no one. When mistaken for another person with the same name, Clara Kelly. This was a slow read for me because the writing is rich with details and phrases that I re-read to enjoy them. Like this one: He whispered her name, letting it roll over his tongue like a fine cordial.

This is a clean read, no heat so no worries if you are concerned about that.

I enjoyed this, while not my usual read I think I’ll be looking for more of her books. As an author, I like to study writers who can write with such care for history and yet still entertain.

yellow drapes, white floor, woman in black skirt and green shirt, chandelier

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 woman who shares her name has vanished, and assuming her identity just might get Clara some money to send back home.

Clara must rely on resolve as strong as the steel Pittsburgh is becoming famous for and an uncanny understanding of business, attributes that quickly gain her Carnegie’s trust. But she still 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.

With captivating insight and heart, Carnegie’s Maid is a book of fascinating 19th century historical fiction. Discover the story of one brilliant woman who may have spurred Andrew Carnegie’s transformation from ruthless industrialist to the world’s first true philanthropist.

About Diana Brandmeyer

Christian author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer writes historical and contemporary romances set from the Midwest to the Mountains. She’s written Mind of Her Own, Frontier Legacy Brides, Small Town Brides, and A Time for Love, among others. Once widowed and now remarried she writes with humor and experience on the difficulty of joining two families be it fictional or real life.

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