Review: The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs

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Goodreads Summary:

Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Revolution, and featuring a cast of iconic characters such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Lafayette, The Hamilton Affair tells the sweeping, tumultuous, true love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, from tremulous beginning to bittersweet ending—his at a dueling ground on the shores of the Hudson River, hers more than half a century later after a brave, successful life.

Hamilton was a bastard son, raised on the Caribbean island of St. Croix. He went to America to pursue his education. Along the way he became one of the American Revolution’s most dashing—and unlikely—heroes. Adored by Washington, hated by Jefferson, Hamilton was a lightning rod: the most controversial leader of the American Revolution.

She was the well-to-do daughter of one of New York’s most exalted families—feisty, adventurous, and loyal to a fault. When she met Alexander, she fell head over heels. She pursued him despite his illegitimacy, and loved him despite his infidelity. In 1816 (two centuries ago), she shamed Congress into supporting his seven orphaned children. Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton started New York’s first orphanage. The only “founding mother” to truly embrace public service, she raised 160 children in addition to her own.
With its flawless writing, brilliantly drawn characters, and epic scope, The Hamilton Affair will take its place among the greatest novels of American history.

 

****I received an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an Honest Review****

My Review

I have to be honest and say that when I first began this book I was a little hesitant. American historical fiction is never my first choice when choosing my next read. However, I was very curious to gain further understanding  about all the hype surrounding The Hamilton play. I realize the two things are very different from one another (I honestly can’t figure out how you make it a musical but whatever).  I’m definitely glad I read it, but I can’t necessarily say that I loved the experience.

As I said, I’m not big on American History, I don’t hate it, but it was never my preferred “era” to learn about in school. The Hamilton Affair is written in chronological order and alternates perspectives between Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schulyer. One of things I really appreciate about the book is the way Cobbs discreetly squeezed in historical events from the American Revolution in between telling the story of the lives of these two very different people. Keeping that in mind, and based on the way the book was structured, at times it felt more as if I was reading a timeline rather than an actual story, especially because half the chapters had larger time gaps in between them then others. I admit, I was more intrigued by Eliza’s perspective than Alexander’s, probably because he does something ( I won’t spoil it for you) that I was super pissed about!

The romance between Elizabeth and Hamilton was definitely my favorite part of the book, there were some really sweet moments between them. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot of time spent that included both of them being in the same place, but I think that their individual experiences were needed to be told separately in order for the point to be made. I really felt like I was immersed in their heads and in the world of the revolution. Cobbs did a splendid job of accomplishing that. Even though I knew how the story was supposed to end based on US History, I wasn’t nearly as prepared for it as I thought I would be based on previous events that occurred just before the final chapter.

I appreciated The Hamilton Affair, and I think if I was a big history buff I would have really enjoyed it. Therefore, I would most definitely recommend reading it if you are a fan of the play (though I have not seen it) or if you are a fan of American History books.

The Hamilton Affair releases August 2nd (tomorrow)! Pre-order it on Amazon here!

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