“I knew from the first that you understood Miss Elizabeth. I heard it in your speech, and see it in your face now. You understand the sacred rights of mankind, and perceive the injustice of how those rights have been taken from us. You crave liberty, and have no more patience with injustice or tyranny than I.”
These are some of the first words Alexander Hamilton speaks to Elizabeth Schuyler in the opening of Susan Holloway Scott’s most recent historical fiction novel, I, Eliza Hamilton. From the beginning, it is clear that Alexander and Eliza have a connection due to their shared passion for the right to freedom and liberty. Through the telling of their love story, Scott reveals the ways that Eliza supported and encouraged Alexander during the American Revolution and the early days of America. From discussing and processing his ideas with him, to scribing many of his works, Eliza was an integral part of the success of her husband and Scott captures this beautifully.
This female-centered approach to storytelling is a new trend I am seeing in historical fiction that I absolutely love! Women are being highlighted in novels for the ways they influenced, supported and encouraged men who made great contributions to the world through out history. It has led me to discover many new historical heroines and I can now add Eliza Hamilton to the list. Not only was
she supportive of her husband, but she also remained strong through extreme adversity. In many circumstances that would have driven other women to give up, we see Eliza not only survive, but move on to accomplish great things herself.
Scott maintains an excellent balance throughout the book between Alexander and Eliza's love story
and the political strife of the time, which allows the reader to truly grasp the historical significance of the story.
I highly recommend this book to anyone, and especially to lovers of historical fiction. Thanks again, Kensington Books!