Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Hamilton Affair



The Hamilton Affair - Elizabeth Cobbs. This wonderful historical novel follows the lives of Alexander Hamilton and his wife, Elizabeth Schuyler. Each chapter alternates Alexander's and Eliza's point-of-view, beginning in their wildly different childhoods -- Alexander's in the Caribbean, and Eliza's in New York.

The Hamilton Affair is richly grounded in history and a joy to read. My only nitpick is that one of the characters, Ajax Manly, is fictional and he seemed that so much that it broke my concentration at times. 

Here's what's wonderful: You can read this book and shout out Hamilton lyrics on practically every page. (The cover even looks like one of the Hamilton posters.) 

Here's what makes me want to read more of Elizabeth Cobbs: She's a subtle writer. She really got to me emotionally towards the end of the novel by an almost offhand reference to something at the beginning of the novel. It was so elegant, so understated, so powerful...there I was at 3 a.m. sobbing. "HIS SHOE!"  This example should be taught in creative writing seminars everywhere.

What else to say? Nothing but read it, read it, read it. Or listen, listen, listen. I have a feeling that this is a great audiobook.

2 comments:

Unruly Reader said...

3 am sobbing. Oh my goodness. I must read this book. (First: must carve out time to read the Chernow. But when?!*)


*I love that these are my problems

Susan Bybee said...

These are the best problems!