Cristina Reads Too Much: The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs

Getting around to reading a book (other than a textbook) can be tough in college, we know this.  When you’re cramming in between classes, Her Campus Lasell’s got you covered.  

Introducing Cristina Reads Too Much, a weekly segment where we break down and spill the tea about the best books RN and give our honest reviews and ratings. 

The Rundown:

Historian-slash-novelist Elizabeth Cobbs brings Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler to life in this New York Times bestseller.  The story begins in 1768 when Alexander and Eliza are both 11-year-olds whose lives are about to be turned upside down. Through Alexander’s chapters in the story, we learn of his struggle to cope with his mother’s death and his decision to leave St. Croix to seek out new opportunities in the United States; in Eliza’s, we see how her seemingly perfect world crumbles when the impending American Revolution unexpectedly lands on her doorstep.  As young adults, they both become outspoken supporters of the cause for independence. Alexander speaks out against the British monarchy and eventually enlists in the Continental Army while Eliza makes uniforms for the soldiers and visits with the sick and injured. When Alexander and Eliza meet by happenstance at a ball one fateful night in February 1780, their lives change forever. They fall deeply in love, announcing their engagement after a whirlwind courtship of barely a month.  Alexander and Eliza marry and start a family, but their lives--and marriage--are far from perfect. Political opponents, a bitter rivalry, and a devastatingly public scandal not only threaten their reputation and marriage, but bring to light the flaws in the country that they helped found. This forces Alexander and Eliza to take dramatic measures to right these wrongs. Alexander works to clear his name after nasty rumors are spread about him, and Eliza resolves to take up a career of sorts helping widows and orphans. Through it all, though, their immense love for each other never lessens.

My Thoughts: 

Romantic, inspiring, and poignant, The Hamilton Affair is a paean to the power of love and its impact on a person’s life.  It’s a hefty read at over 400 pages, but an engaging, beautifully written one as well. Cobbs paints a vivid image of Alexander and Eliza’s complicated yet passionate marriage, and brings them both to life in a genuine, relatable way.  The Hamilton Affair combines historical fact (all but one of the significant characters were real people, and many of the events in the book actually happened) with traditional storytelling in a way that’s sure to get you excited about history, especially if biographies and documentaries aren’t your thing.  To say that I enjoyed this book is an understatement; it is an early contender for my favorite book of 2019. If you’re looking for history, romance, or simply an unputdownable story, look no further than The Hamilton Affair.

My Rating:

5 out of 5 stars (though I’d rate it higher if I could)

Favorite Quote:

“‘I love you more and more every hour.  The sweet softness and delicacy of your mind and manners, the elevation of your sentiments, the real goodness of your heart, its tenderness to me, the beauties of your face and person, your unpretending good sense and innocent simplicity and frankness which pervade your actions; all these appear to me with increasing amiableness and place you in my estimation above all the rest of your sex'"