It's Tuesday . . . time for . . .
Today I'm featuring a current read, Carnegie's Maid by Marie Benedict. The except shared is from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.
First Chapter: November 4, 1863
I shouldn't be here. Cecelia or Eliza could have been swaying on this stinking vessel instead of me. It was their right -- Eliza's duty anyway, as the eldest daughter -- to make the voyage and take the chance on a new land. But Mum and Dad offered a litany of excuses for my sisters -- the twenty-one-year-old Eliza was on the brink of a marriage that would allow the family to keep our farm tenancy intact, a status that had eluded me due to my overcleverness, Dad said, and Cecelia was too young for the voyage at fifteen and too weak-spirited in any event -- and so, knowing my parents were right, I boarded the Envoy in their place. Forty-two days later, I regretted the preening and arrogance to which I subjected my sisters when I'd learned of my parents' decision. I knew now that being considered my parents' siofra -- their changeling capable of transmitting into whatever America required--was no prize. And I desperately missed my sisters.
What do you think? Would you continue reading?
Clara Kelley sets sail for America from Ireland in hopes of securing a position in a household that will provide income for her struggling family back home. Through a twist of fate and unexpected opportunity, Clara becomes the lady's maid to Margaret Morrison Carnegie, mother of Andrew Carnegie, the nineteenth century industrialist turned philanthropist. Benedict's fictional account of their relationship is steeped in historical detail about class differences and the difficult lives of the immigrants who comprised Pittsburgh's working class.
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