Historical fiction involving my favorite musical? Yes, please! This review is contains only mild spoilers, but I mean, history can’t really be spoiled, right?
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 mention my Hamilton obsession a lot (at least on Instagram and such), so a historical fiction novel involving the history behind the musical was a must-read for me. There was even a part about the infamous Maria Reynolds (the sinnamon roll), which was really interesting. “Say No To This” is probably one of my favorite songs on the soundtrack, because Jasmine’s voice is just:
Can we just take a moment to marvel at the genius it takes to turn that million-paged biography into a three hour musical? I mean, hOw? I read the biography, and it honestly took me about a week.
Okay, so how do people come up with the amazing-ness-ness that is historical fiction? Somehow Elizabeth Cobbs has imagined scenes from the depths of her own mind involving Alex and Eliza’s childhoods. I would never be able to conjure up such description in something both based on history and at the same time is fiction. I assume that would, however, give you much creative freedom. As a young teenager, it is quite plausible that I found myself wondering about how I was incapable of achieving the level of detail present in this novel in the near future. Yes, I did spend quite a while thinking about how I was going to write this paragraph.
The way this book was written really captured a lot emotion invloving events that are main plot points of Hamilton. I won’t go into them (so I don’t spoil anyone!), but I’ll just say that it all felt very real. I think that if you didn’t have the time to read the full biography, this is an okay alternative to get some more historical facts that you may not have known from the musical (don’t quote me on that).
I hope you guys enjoyed this little review! If you love Hamilton, please comment your favorite thing about it down below! If you’ve had the amazing pleasure of seeing Hamilton, I have officially been impressed and would like to know how you acquired the godlike powers to do so!