Thursday, January 10, 2019

Book Review: My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

Goodreads Summary: From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.
A general’s daughter…

Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.

A founding father’s wife...

But the union they create—in their marriage and the new nation—is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all—including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.

The last surviving light of the Revolution…

When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle—to understand the flawed man she married and the imperfect union he could never have created without her…
Goodreads Rating: 4.27 stars with over 9,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Historical Fiction
Goodreads Yearly Challenge: 1/50
2019 Reading Challenge: 56.) Read a book about a real or fictional politician. (See the full challenge here.)


Happy 2019, readers! Only a week in and I've already finished my first book of the year. Admittedly I started this one at the end of 2018, but I'll take it. I'm mildly amused that the challenge I ended up dreading the most this year is the one I finished first. There's a good chance it ends up being my favorite book I read this year. While it may seem like a stretch to put the book in this category, I assure you it's not. Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton is as much of a politician as any of her famous friends.
I was instantly drawn into the story presented in My Dear Hamilton. It's so beautifully written, and Elizabeth Schuyler makes for a fantastic main character. If she was anything in real-life like how Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie portrayed her, then Elizabeth Schuyler was a force to be reckoned with throughout her life. I can't remember the last time I was this impressed by a character.

This is a book that you'll definitely want to dedicate time to if you read it. It's just over 650 pages and covers around 60 years of Elizabeth's life. The novel starts with an intense conversation between Elizabeth and James Monroe, twenty years after Alexander Hamilton's death. It then works its self through the years of events that got to that conversation. It was really fascinating to watch her grow from this 20 something young woman to an old woman who represents the last of an era. 

As much as I love Historical Fiction, I am awful with actual history. I'm especially bad with early American History when this takes place. I'm not even going to deny the fact that I took a lot of naps in history classes during my time in school. I'm blaming that as the fact that it never dawned on me that Alexander Hamilton would have had a whole lot of highly essential people in his life. I think when I read Historical Fiction I tend to think about it in a vacuum. I don't tend to think about things that were happening around the world at that time. The authors did a fantastic job of including reference points to what was going on in England and France as well as what was happening stateside.

I'm always intrigued with Historical Fiction and how it compares to what really happened. I usually do a little bit of research afterward to find out more about whatever timeframe I'm reading about. I really liked the inclusion from the authors that showed where they took liberties and where they didn't. There was apparently not a lot of references to Elizabeth Hamilton in much of their research, so they had to piece their information together from what sources they could. I thought they did an amazing job of making the story incredibly plausible and believable.

There were so many exciting events in this book that I can't even begin to go through them all. From the point of Alexander Hamilton's death to the end of the book I feel like all I did was cry. The end of the book is so incredibly emotional. Between all of the heartbreaks and information that she uncovers as well as how much Elizabeth accomplishes later in life, I was incredibly moved. I just can't say enough good things about this book. If you enjoy historical fiction and want a really amazing and strong female lead, then read this book. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading my book blog. Please feel free to leave a comment to further or start a discussion on the book reviews and other posts. If you have a book recommendation for me, I would love to hear it!