I have read and reviewed two of these titles and want to read the others.
On Carnegie’s Maid:
Imagine that your family sends you (alone) to the U.S. because of financial hardship in Ireland and you will need to support your relatives back home. Imagine that you are able to take on someone else’s identity to become the servant of Andrew Carnegie’s mother. Will you be found out? Will your position be secure? These are among the premises of this richly detailed historical novel. Relationships between upstairs and downstairs, specifically between Clara and Andrew Carnegie are a major part of this novel. Read it too to learn more about the business world and women’s roles in the post Civil War U.S. Overall, an enjoyable read.
On Lady Clementine
Lady Clementine is a wonderful historical novel and one that I highly recommend. As can be seen from the title, it is the story of Clementine Churchill, wife of Winston. The story is told in Clementine’s voice and Ms. Benedict inhabits that so well that, while reading, I truly felt that Clementine was telling her story. The book focuses quite a bit on WWII but there was much before that in Clementine’s biography and these earlier times also captured the author’s attention.
Readers learn that Clementine’s childhood was rather insecure and find out why this was so. The losses she experienced and her opportunities to marry before meeting Winston are detailed.
Clementine and Winston had many years together prior to WWII. Readers experience the ups and downs of their relationship, Winston’s political and military woes and their significant family tragedy. Winston’s neediness and strong need for Clementine to be available become quite clear. Readers also witness Clementine’s mental health struggles and the challenges that she faced as a mother. Throughout there is the lens of Clementine finding her own voice and her desire to be appreciated and recognized for the incredible woman that she was.
I give this novel 5 stars, something that I rarely do. I recommend it that highly.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for this read in exchange for an honest review.