As for the book...I loved it. I devoured it, all 600+ pages in a very short time. The authors seem to be consumate researchers. Their devotion to the 'real' story is evident. After all that research, they present it to us as a beautifully written story of history, intrique, betrayal, love and passion. It is historical fiction at its best, complete with authors' thoughts at the end.
From the book's blurb: ...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."
We first meet Eliza as she introduces her husband to us. Here are her words: "The promise of liberty is not written in blood or engraved in stone; it's embroidered into the fabric of out nation. And so is Alexander Hamilton."
As a student of history, I knew of Alexander Hamilton and some of his accomplishments. As many of you, I've answered test questions relating to Hamilton and the other Founding Fathers on many history tests. Now, I know the back story to the many events which he helped shape and which shaped him. I loved the idea that those early leaders really were as human and indecisive as we mortals of today. Still they perservered to give us our nation.
Alexander Hamilton was not a perfect statesman nor a perfect husband, but he was a man who cared and who acknowledged his shortcomings. In the end, he couldn't bend and avoid a mortal conflict with a man who had once been his friend. The result was his death in a duel with Aaron Burr.
Through it all, as we learn about Hamilton, we learn about Eliza, daughter, sister, mother, and lover. She was a spirited young woman who endured hardships, humilitation, and haunting memories, but through it all her spirit came through and she was a survivor. You'll like Eliza Schuyler Hamilton.
All of this, along with gossip and rumours of the day, are presented in such a way that reading about them is a pleasure. If you like historical fiction, especially, American historical fiction, this is a book for you.
Thank you Stephanie and Laura for a chance to read this before publication. I loved it all but most especially the churchyard scene with LaFayette and the parade with Mrs. Madison.
Available April 3 at local bookstores and online. Also, check out their novel of Thomas Jefferson's daughter, Patsy. America's First Daughter.