The life of Hamilton has been popular ever since the hit broadway show Hamilton hit the scene in New York in January of 2015. While the broadway focuses on Hamilton’s life, My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie focuses on Hamilton’s wife, Elizabeth Schuyler. A quick google of Alexander Hamilton will tell you how Hamilton’s life ends but it’s how Eliza’s life goes before and after his life is extinguished which makes this an interesting read.
What I Liked?
I liked how the author put us in Eliza’s head. We see how she thinks, why she acts the way she does, and how she emotionally reacts to the events around her. I enjoyed hearing her reference the future like when she is in the room with Lafaytte, James Monroe, and Benedict Arnold she says that “Stranger still to realize that if I’d been told in that moment that one of the men in that tent would betray us, another would become my enemy, and a third would win my heart forever-I not only wouldn’t have believed it but would have guessed wrong as to which man on every score.”
What I Didn’t Like?
It felt like it took forever for the book to get to the point where I was unable to put it down. In truth, it wasn’t until about halfway through or more that I was starting to have trouble putting the book down or risk staying up too late reading.
Who Is This Book For?
Anyone interested in history will find this an intriguing read. It’s a work of fiction so some liberties were taken with the characters and their history so you should keep that in mind while reading. None the less, as someone who doesn’t normally read this genre (I’m more of a young adult romance reader myself) I was still sucked into My Dear Hamilton and was curious about it’s ending and it made me want to learn more about the life of the rest of the Hamilton family members.
I’m not sure this is a title I would necessarily read again, but it is a title I’m happy to have read at least once. If I were to read it again, I would make note of the dates at the top of each chapter so I could better understand how many years pass between each. It was a bit confusing one minute to have Eliza having just given birth in one chapter, only to have that child a few years old at least in the next. If you are a fan of historical fiction and don’t mind the occasional romantic exploit between the main characters, then this is a title for you.
It is a “happyish” read because while it ends happily for the most part, there are definitely some sad moments. I knew the sad parts were coming though thanks to the musical and my high school history class so they didn’t hit me as hard as if I didn’t know they were coming.
If you can handle those few sad moments (there’s really only about three heavy hitters) and hold out to the end, you won’t be disappointed in the read.
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