Wednesday, April 18, 2018

TLC BOOK TOURS and REVIEW: My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie


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.

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…

Paperback, 672 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by William Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN 006246616X (ISBN13: 9780062466167)

About the Author

About Stephanie Dray

Stephanie Dray is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her award-winning work has been translated into eight languages and tops lists for the most anticipated reads of the year. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer and a teacher. Now she lives near the nation’s capital with her husband, cats, and history books.

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About Laura Kamoie

Laura Kamoie is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing fiction. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland, with her husband and two daughters.

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My Thoughts
The promise of liberty is not written in blood or engraved in stone; it's embroidered into the fabric of our nation. And so is Alexander Hamilton.
Everyone is familiar with Alexander Hamilton. If you weren't before the play became the It play of the decade, then you are now! And even before the play Hamilton, you knew of some of Alexander Hamilton's accomplishments-- you maybe just didn't know you knew.

Alexander Hamilton is one of our "Founding Fathers of the United States". He was a huge proponent for the US Constitution, founder of the US financial system, The New York Post, the Federalist Party and more, as well as the first US Secretary of the Treasury. As Wikipedia puts it:
His vision included a strong central government led by a vigorous executive branch, a strong commercial economy, with a national bank and support for manufacturing, plus a strong military.
So, pretty impressive guy, right? But you know what they say about behind every man...? In Eliza (whom he calls by her childhood name Betsy) he found the perfect life partner to support him and fuel his ambitious nature. In this story we get to experience life with Alexander Hamilton through the eyes of his beloved wife-- flaws and all.

I was first introduced to the authors with their book America's First Daughter.about Patsy Jefferson, the daughter of Thomas Jefferson. I learned then that these authors have a real knack for drawing you into a story, and leaving you wanting for more. When you finish one of their historical fiction stories like this one and America's First Daughter, you are left wanting to read more about the historical characters and their accomplishments. When I read one of their books, I can't wait to finish the story to dig into a history book or Wikipedia and learn more. They bring the characters to life.

This is historical fiction, but as it is seen through the eyes of Eliza and she is passionately in love and in awe of her husband Alexander Hamilton, it feels a bit like a historical romance novel-- at least in the beginning. The story is rife with historical characters, from George Washington to Benedict Arnold to James Madison and more, and the women in their lives often play an important part. The authors draw from letters and documents and actual quotes for the story as much as possible, bringing a sincerity to the story.

One thing that I found a little odd was the way that Eliza would often refer to her husband as "Hamilton" when speaking about him with others, as would other women like her friend Theodosia. I know it wasn't uncommon for women back then to refer to their husbands by the title "Mr.", as in "Mr. Hamilton", but I've never heard of women referring to their husbands in the 1700s by simply their surname, as if they were military squad members or something. It seemed odd to me.

I would like to thank TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour. Check out the website for the full tour schedule:

InstagramTour Stops

Sunday, April 1st: Instagram: @theliterarybirds
Tuesday, April 3rd: Instagram: @writersdream
Friday, April 6th: Instagram: @somekindofalibrary
Friday, April 6th: Instagram: @willbakeforbooks
Saturday, April 7th: Instagram: @bookishconnoisseur
Tuesday, April 12th: Instagram: @prose_and_palate
Monday, April 16th: Instagram: @ladyofthelibrary

Review Tour Stops

Wednesday, April 4th: Broken Teepee
Thursday, April 5th: A Chick Who Reads
Friday, April 6th: Instagram: @happiestwhenreading
Monday, April 9th: A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, April 10th: Girls in Books
Wednesday, April 11th: West Metro Mommy
Thursday, April 12th: Reading Reality
Friday, April 13th: The Lit Bitch
Monday, April 16th: Peppermint PhD
Tuesday, April 17th: Tina Says…
Wednesday, April 18th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Thursday, April 19th: Literary Lindsey
Friday, April 20th: Lit.Wit.Wine.Dine.
Monday, April 23rd: Doing Dewey
Tuesday, April 24th: Into the Hall of Books
Wednesday, April 25th: Instagram: @lavieestbooks
Thursday, April 26th: 100 Pages a Day…Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Friday, April 27th: Instagram: @_literary_dreamer_
TBD: History from a Woman’s Perspective

My final word: I have become a fan of authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. I love the way they write their characters, and the way they can make learning fun, so you don't even know you are learning and reliving history. Eliza Schuyler Hamilton is an impressive story character, as was the real woman! Hamilton is a passionate, intelligent, ambitious man burdened with illegitimacy and doomed to die in what has probably become US History's most famous duel. His wife Eliza would go on to fight to preserve his legacy, before dying at the ripe old age of 97. I would recommend this book not only to fans of historical fiction, but to those who love historical romance. Loved it!

Buy Now:
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My Rating:

The Cerebral Girl is a forty-something blogger just digging her way out from under a mountain of books in the deep south of Florida.

I received a copy of this book to review through TLC Book Tours and the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel