“Love is not easy with a man chosen by Fate for greatness . . .”
As the daughter of a respected general, Elizabeth Schuyler is accustomed to socializing with dignitaries and soldiers. But no visitor to her parents’ home has affected her so strongly as Alexander Hamilton, a charismatic, ambitious aide to George Washington. They marry quickly, and despite the tumult of the American Revolution, Eliza is confident in her brilliant husband and in her role as his helpmate. But it is in the aftermath of war, as Hamilton becomes one of the country’s most important figures, that she truly comes into her own.
In the new capital, Eliza becomes an adored member of society, respected for her fierce devotion to Hamilton as well as her grace. Behind closed doors, she astutely manages their expanding household, and assists her husband with his political writings. Yet some challenges are impossible to prepare for. Through public scandal, betrayal, personal heartbreak, and tragedy, she is tested again and again. In the end, it will be Eliza’s indomitable strength that makes her not only Hamilton’s most crucial ally in life, but his most loyal advocate after his death, determined to preserve his legacy while pursuing her own extraordinary path through the nation they helped shape together.
~I received this book for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review~
I have been in love with Alexander Hamilton like everyone else since listening to Lin-Manuel’s HAMILTON. And my favourite of all the characters is Eliza. I love her so much. She’s such an interesting, intriguing person who did so much for her husband’s legacy and never stopped loving him, even after everything he did to her.
Naturally, when I saw that there was a novel coming out told from Eliza’s POV about their relationship, I knew I needed to read it. And oh my God, I am so glad that I did.
I, ELIZA HAMILTON is such a beautiful retelling. You can tell that the author has done such in depth research about their lives and the times. It was so vivid that I felt like I was there with them and the emotions behind Eliza was incredible.
It’s written as if Eliza was writing in her diaries about her life throughout her life. There were times that I felt there was too much information, that didn’t really serve but to offer backstory. It was given in a very info-dumpy way where there were paragraphs of history of America.
But that didn’t stop my enjoyment of the novel. It was just so beautifully written!
I also loved how Eliza was represented in this! She wasn’t too rebellious for the times and she was kind. She was gentle. She was passionate and loving. You can see the woman that caught Alexander Hamilton’s eye and captured his heart.
From the very moment this book starts, the interactions between Hamilton and his Betsey are adorable! Honestly, I spent most of this book swooning and squealing because of how adorable and in love they were. And Hamilton was definitely as smooth as I’ve always imagined, haha! He was another character who I felt was so accurately represented that it shows just how much research Susan Holloway Scott did. He was… to quote my other fave… “young, scrappy and hungry”. I loved how, even though we saw him through Eliza’s eyes, we still saw his flaws. Nothing was portrayed through rose-tinted glasses which I adored.
This goes right from their first meeting to just after the fatal duel between Hamilton and Burr. I cried at this, by the way. I hardly ever cry and novels and their final farewell made me sob because it was just so powerfully written. And I also adored how it dealt with The Reynolds Pamphlet.
We all know that she had to forgive him his mistakes because hey, if she didn’t, she wouldn’t have spent those fifty years in perpetual mourning for him and constantly trying to share his legacy. But I always picture her being furious at him. In all honesty, I believe Lin-Manuel captured this anger beautifully with his song “Burn”. I love the well deserved hurt and anger that fills Eliza’s veins in that song and I always worry that people are going to take it away from her.
But this book did not.
She was angry. She was hurt. She was cold to him but in the end, she remember she loved him and remembered her heart and forgave him. And that was that.
When I first read it, I thought that it was perhaps dealt with too quickly, but it is also told through Eliza’s eyes. She wouldn’t have wanted to dwell on it too much and so when she forgave him, she would have put it from her mind to no longer hurt either of them.
I could forever keep rambling about how much I loved this book. But I’m just going to mention one last thing I adored: the afterword. The author recaps how Eliza spent her final years and oh my God, I fell even more in love with Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton. She is the strongest, most amazing founding mother ever and I just adored her.
I can honestly see myself rereading this book again and again. I loved it that much. I have only one final complaint for the reason that it didn’t get a full five stars. It never seemed to use the word “slaves”. During this time, slavery was a sign of wealth and Eliza came from a wealthy family. Her father owned slaves which was portrayed in this novel, but it was never said outright. They were called “servants”, shown to be black by the odd “Negro” or “African” thrown in before servant to describe them. The world slave is mention a time when Eliza and Hamilton are married and they both decided to not own any. The ones that her father owned? Servants. It just didn’t sit right with me but I’m white, so I have no say. If there are any black people who read this have reviews on this book, I will find link them below.
But all in all, I ordered this book and I cannot wait to own a physical copy of it because I adored it that much!