The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs: Review

Nicole Hedmark Reviews Leave a Comment

Author: Elizabeth Cobbs
Publisher: Arcade
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction
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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.

With its flawless writing, brilliantly drawn characters, and epic scope, The Hamilton Affair will take its place among the greatest novels of American history.

My Thoughts

I generally am not a fan of historical novels, especially American ones. However, this was a quick read that I enjoyed more than I expected. We’ve all learned about the great revolutionary forefathers at some point, but Alexander Hamilton came alive for me in this book, as a flawed, yet likable and honorable, man. I was disappointed in the somewhat flat portrayal of Elizabeth Schuyler. She was depicted as infinitely patient and forgiving, keeping her ideas and needs to herself, and behaving as the perpetual saint throughout. I’m sure she was as flawed as anyone else, and I’d be curious to know more about her. The dialog also did the story a disservice, as Cobbs intentionally modernized the language characters used in order to make it more digestible for modern readers. While well-intended, this move made the book read as a YA novel at best and at worst made the characters sound cartoonish.  Still, it was refreshing to read a historical novel that let the upheaval of the American Revolution act as a backdrop rather than as the story itself. Cobbs makes the story accessible for the modern reader while staying true to known historical facts, and the work is, overall, a pleasant entry into the life of the Hamilton family.

Ready to read? Grab your friends, family, or local book club to join in, and use these discussion questions to explore the book!

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