Review: My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

Hamilton is everywhere thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda! All of a sudden US History is cool again and everyone wants to get their hands on the hottest tickets in town!

Currently the musical is playing in Portland which is near where I live and tickets are going for $400 a pop. I’ve been trying to enter the giveaway thing that they do for tickets but never seems to win—does anyone???

So like so many other Americans I too have jumped on the Hamilton train and plan to ride it all the way until I can see the musical which will likely never happen at this rate but a girl can dream!

That’s where this book comes in. Since I am not able to see the musical, why not just try a new hot trendy book about Hamilton? Full disclosure….I have my masters in US History so I should be able to tell you more about Hamilton beyond the fact that he was a founding father and was shot by Aaron Burr (thank you 1993 Got Milk commercial!!)…..but beyond that all I have are crickets.

When this book came up for review, I jumped on it! While it’s a fictionalized account, it still has deep roots in early American history.

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 imperfect union he could never have created without her (summary from Goodreads).

This story focuses on Eliza Schuyler Hamilton rather than on Hamilton himself and I loved that. They always say that behind every good man is a good woman so I am always interested to see what the backstory is with wives of powerful men. Just think about what they endured and how they handled difficult situations is fascinating and Eliza’s story was no different. I loved reading about her, I fell in love with her almost from the beginning.

I went into this one completely blind because not only did I have limited knowledge of Hamilton himself, but I had zero knowledge of Eliza nor was it something that I ever really pondered. So I had no real expectations for this book which left me free to enjoy it completely on its own.

I have see other reviewers comment about how Eliza is such an excellent example of a strong women who balanced her political life and her personal life as a wife seamlessly and I would say that I completely agree with those opinions. The authors portrayed her in such a favorable light, she was truly a unique woman and I loved how strong but yet vulnerable she could be when the time was appropriate. She was clearly meant to be the star of the book, but for me she was the shooting star! I loved reading about her and her life.

Sometimes I hesitate on books by two authors, especially fiction. Two authors can sometimes work ok in non fiction, but in fiction it always seems to be a struggle. So I did have my reservations about this book but I know that these two writers have teamed up before on America’s First Daughter (the story of Thomas Jefferson’s daughter), while I haven’t read that book, I have seen great reviews on it so I was eager to read this one. The book read like a single author book and for that I was thankful! Both authors wrote beautifully and I never felt like I was reading an entirely different style.

I love that these two seem to be making their way through the untold stories of the women behind the founding fathers. I love to see US History coming alive in such a new and exciting way! If you have caught Hamilton fever to maybe you just like US History, or strong women, or untold stories….whatever your interests are this book has something for you to enjoy. Even if you aren’t into history at all, Eliza is such a strong character with an interesting life that you won’t even feel like you’re reading history!

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

  • Paperback, 672 pages
    Published April 3rd 2018 by William Morrow Paperbacks

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 5 out of 5

Genre: Historical fiction

Memorable lines/quotes:

 

About My Dear Hamilton

• Hardcover: 672 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (April 3, 2018)

“Not since I read Erik Larson’s Dead Wake have I had such an edge-of-my-seat immersion into historical events. […] No study of Alexander Hamilton would be complete without reading this book.”–Karen White, New York Times bestselling author

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. In this haunting, moving, and beautifully written novel, 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 imperfect union he could never have created without her…

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Kate Furek

About Stephanie Dray

Stephanie Dray is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her award-winning work has been translated into eight languages and tops lists for the most anticipated reads of the year. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer and a teacher. Now she lives near the nation’s capital with her husband, cats, and history books.

Find out more about Stephanie at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Photo by Renee Hollingshead

About Laura Kamoie

Laura Kamoie is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing fiction. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland, with her husband and two daughters.

Find out more about Laura at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

 
Tuesday, April 3rd: History from a Woman’s Perspective
Wednesday, April 4th: Broken Teepee
Thursday, April 5th: A Chick Who Reads
Friday, April 6th: Lit.Wit.Wine.Dine.
Friday, April 6th: Instagram: @happiestwhenreading
Monday, April 9th: A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, April 10th: Girls in Books
Wednesday, April 11th: West Metro Mommy
Thursday, April 12th: Reading Reality
Friday, April 13th: The Lit Bitch
Monday, April 16th: Peppermint PhD
Tuesday, April 17th: Tina Says…
Wednesday, April 18th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Thursday, April 19th: Literary Lindsey
Monday, April 23rd: Doing Dewey
Tuesday, April 24th: Into the Hall of Books
Wednesday, April 25th: Instagram: @lavieestbooks
Thursday, April 26th: 100 Pages a Day…Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Friday, April 27th: Instagram: @_literary_dreamer_
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4 thoughts on “Review: My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

  1. I really loved Eliza as portrayed here as well! I also thought it read like it was written by one author and I noticed in the author bios that one of the authors is described as writing mostly nonfiction, so I wondered if a lot of what she brought to this was a good grounding in research and a realistic picture of the times.

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