Thursday, 19 April 2018

Review: My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie



My rating: 5 of 5 stars


After my loss of words reaction, I can say My Dear Hamilton is unquestionably my favourite book read so far this year (2018).

I dived into this novel with no prior knowledge of who Elizabeth Schuyler or Alexander Hamilton were. After finishing the book, it left me with a huge void and a desire to discover more about the people closest to Elizabeth and Hamilton and the legacy they both left.

My Dear Hamilton captured my imagination and left me craving more. Of course, Alexander Hamilton himself intrigued me and I fully appreciate why he has become such an iconic historical figure. He is perfect as a romantic hero; dashing, brave and imperfect. However, it is his wife Eliza who is the one full of surprises. Historically, she's known more as the daughter of a general and as the wife of one of the founding fathers; but Eliza's life after Hamilton's death is noteworthy. As well as her stubborn determination to preserve her late husband's legacy, she championed the protection of widows, their children and orphans.

A book to savour! With over six hundred pages, Initially, I was a little concerned about my ability to absorb all the historical facts. However, the writers' did a marvellous job of incorporating the finer details within the narrative which not only kept my interest but enabled me to maintain and remember the information as we learn it. Written as a historical novel, the writing style definitely played a significant part in my overall enjoyment of this momentous period in American history.

I'm happy with the literary liberties the writers took with some facts and fully appreciate the thought process involved. The inclusion of this information at the end of the book is informative and adds an extra dimension to an already rich text.

This is the first novel I've read by these authors. I already own a copy of America's First Daughter and after my positive reading experience of My Dear Hamilton, I can't wait to read it.

***arc generously received courtesy of William Morris via Edelweiss+***

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Eliza Hamilton was a philanthropist, the devoted wife of Alexander Hamilton, and a revolutionary who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, heiress Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. New York society has been transformed by the excitement of war and when Eliza meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the officer’s charisma and brilliance. 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 accusation of corruption and the treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.
But where most pop-culture representations of Hamilton end—MY DEAR HAMILTON goes further and beyond Alexander’s death. 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 have never created without her.