I mentioned in an earlier post that I purchased this book when it first came out after meeting Laura Kamoie at a book signing. It sat on my shelf until this last month when I saw Hamilton in the theater and then watched the film (just to see if I could understand the lyrics better. It helped a bit!). Narrated by Cassandra Campbell who did a stand-out job, I found their version of Eliza Hamilton’s relationship with her husband Alexander to be really interesting and well written as well as it all making a hell of a lot more sense than the musical.
My Dear Hamilton is Eliza’s story with the authors using letters of the Hamilton’s as well as other notable people during this time. I’ll admit, I didn’t know that much about her other than what I saw in the musical but according to the words written by these authors she is the reason why Alexander Hamilton is remembered as one of the founding fathers of our country instead of as the man who created the first political sex scandal. Theirs was a great love story, with Eliza falling for Alexander and supporting him through his many campaigns, scandals, and even after his death. She was truly a force of nature during a time when women were no more than chattel or property of their husbands. If this story is true she has earned my admiration for her strength of will but also for her heart.
Alexander was an immigrant who was always trying to better himself, be heard, and through his many writings create a union in this new country. Something that he was obsessed with upholding despite his leadership keeping his family in poverty and reliant on his wife’s family for support and money. For a man that was known for creating our nation’s banking system he was awful at handling his own families money. Through most of this book I believed wholeheartedly in his love for Eliza despite his notorious affair, and flirtations with her own sister. He seemed a man who honor was very important. Affairs and honor seem to be a contradiction I know, but with women being property and brood mares during this time, it seems like his love for her and his actions elsewhere could all exist in the same world.
I’ll admit to being really shocked by some of the reveals in this book. They are all historical fact because I googled them after hearing them in this book but will be silent here so that you too can read or listen to this fabulous book and learn something about one of our founding fathers that I think might be surprising. I have to give kudos again to the narrator Cassandra Campbell for giving voice to a multitude of characters and holding those voices over this quite lengthy book. She did an amazing job and really added to my enjoyment of this novel.
If you love historical novels, are interested in this time in history and are a bit curious if they got it all right in the musical Hamilton, you will really like this book. Written by two history teachers through letters written by Eliza, Alexander and a cadre of people close to them it reads like true history even though they admit to taking artistic license to a few items residing in the book. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to picking up another one of their books!
Click this link to purchase!* My Dear Hamilton
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2 thoughts on “This Chick’s Audio review: My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie”
This book has been on my TBR for while and I think you just convinced me to move it to the front!
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It’s long but I really enjoyed it. Definitely eye opening!
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