My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First, thanks to my son Monster for the gift card. I’m not sure which was the greater gift, the books themselves or the opportunity to browse a bookstore, which I don’t do very often. Second, a huge thank-you for a historical novel that is actually about history and not just rapey romance crap.
I really, really enjoyed this one. While telling the story of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, it also tells her husband’s story, beginning shortly before they met during the War for Independence. The crux is Alexander’s dedication to the formation of a great country and his meteoric rise from his birth as the bastard child of a woman charged with prostitution to his legacy as a gifted statesman and one of our founding fathers. Betsey/Eliza was there for all of it, often helping with his endless writings and playing the “woman’s role” as a lady of the state, friends with Martha Washington and Dolley Madison and heading countless charitable endeavors. Their marriage wasn’t perfect–no marriage is–but they faced their battles head-on; their devotion to each other and to their newly founded nation is clear.
I see that Dray and Kamoie have previously written another novel of American history, America’s First Daughter. Unfortunately, that phrase immediately brings Ivank-a Stank-a to mind, and I’m going to have to get over that. I love this team’s writing. I’m a new fan.
Bookshelves: american-history, fictionalized-biography, founding-fathers