Wednesday, April 11, 2018

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

Wife, Widow, and Warrior in Alexander Hamilton’s Quest for a More Perfect Union

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.

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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…

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At New Windsor, I donned practical and patriotic homespun and endeavored to make myself useful to Mrs. Washington at headquarters. There, alongside the great lady, I threw myself into writing letters to raise money, hosting dignitaries who visited camp, and helping the slaves prepare meals for Washington’s little military family—repetitive suppers of bread, butter, and a spicy tripe stew, the scent of which was not altogether appetizing, but better than what the ordinary soldiers ate by far.

It was at one of these dinners that we were reunited with the Marquis de Lafayette. Having just negotiated the end of a mutiny in the Pennsylvania Line, he returned to headquarters and broke the sour mood by hugging—and even kissing—everyone.

I was startled that General Washington, a very formal man who did not like to be touched, allowed the marquis this familiarity. Then Lafayette treated me to the same exuberant greeting. “Mademoiselle Schuyler—or shall I say Madame Hamilton, now?” he said, kissing both my cheeks.

“Marquis,” I said, smiling.

But before I could decide whether I was meant to return these kisses, Lafayette withdrew and wagged his finger at me. “I’m afraid I have a quarrel with you. I invited you to camp some years ago. You refuse me. Yet, for Hamilton, here you are. I would take offense did I not so much approve of your choice.”

“As do we all,” said Colonel Tilghman with a polite smile.

Seemingly caught off guard by the warm sentiment of his friends, Alexander flushed.

Even as McHenry called, “Speak for yourself, Tench. If you’d seen Ham strutting at his wedding, you’d know he doesn’t need a thing more to swell his head.”

Before I could flush at what might have been Mac’s innuendo—and in front of the Washingtons!—Lafayette held up a bottle of champagne he’d acquired from somewhere and smuggled into the house. “Since we could not all see the wedding, we celebrate tonight, oui?”

Quietly, from his end of the table, General Washington said, “A capital idea.” And that was all the approval the younger men needed to pop the cork and start pouring.

“May I propose a toast?” Colonel Tilghman said from where he was seated beside Mrs. Washington. Tench didn’t wait for an answer but rose to his full height and raised his glass.

“To our Little Lion,” he said to Alexander, respectfully and with genuine fondness. Then turning to me, he added, “And to the finest tempered girl in the world. A perfect match. May it endure and prosper with our country. With my blessing and unalterable friendship.”

His graciousness moved me, and I hoped Tench might one day find a woman to love him as he deserved. I tipped my glass to him in return, hoping he could feel my good wishes before we drank. And then it was all laughter and merriment.

“Congratulations, my boy,” Washington said to Hamilton with a fatherly tone, and my husband seemed not quite certain how to take it.

Perhaps to ease the moment, Tilghman said, “We all knew your husband was a gone man for you, Mrs. Hamilton, the night he forgot the watchword.”

At the reminder, Mac roared with laughter, recounting details Alexander never told me. “He’s lucky he managed to wheedle it out of that boy who lived at headquarters or the guards would have let him sleep in the snow.”

Grinning, Hamilton protested, “I was determined to keep what little dignity I had left! I had to pretend I’d just been testing the guardsman.”

Even Mrs. Washington chuckled at this, shaking her head. And the toasts continued long after we’d finished the soup and the champagne and the Washingtons went to bed.

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I will keep this review short because once again I made a mistake. I read a book without checking the genre. I am not a fan of this kind of historical fiction aka a story that's based on real people and some parts of it actually happened. In my rush to read a book from one of the authors I love, I messed it up. I did manage to finish the book so I will give some credit to the authors. The story was good, but I couldn't get into it. I couldn't separate which parts wrote each author and that was good. I liked some characters, mostly Eliza and I wasn't a big fan of some characters. I admire that the author's decided to show to the rest of the world some women who might not be as well known as their husbands and in Eliza's case how they faired after the death of their spouse.  


  About Stephanie Dray: Stephanie Dray is a New York Times bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her award-winning work has been translated into multiple languages, illuminating women of the past so as to inspire the women of today. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital.  

Stephanie Dray Website |Newsletter | Facebook |Twitter | Dray & Kamoie Website

About Laura Kamoie: Laura Kamoieis a New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction, and the author of two nonfiction books on early American history. Until recently, she held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction under the name Laura Kaye, also a New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels.