Title: Hamilton and Peggy!
Author: L.M. Elliott
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Source: ARC (Thanks HarperCollins!)
The colonies are in the throes of the Revolutionary War and caught in the midst of spies, traitors, Loyalists and Patriots, is the charming, quick-witted Peggy Schuyler—youngest of the famed Schuyler sisters and daughter of General Philip Schuyler. Her eldest sister Angelica, the “thief of hearts,” is known for her passion and intelligence, while kind, sweet Eliza has a beauty so great, it only outshone by her enormous heart. Though often in the shadows of her beloved sisters, Peggy is talented in her own right—fluent in French, artistically talented, and brave beyond compare.
When a flirtatious aide-de-camp to General Washington named Alexander Hamilton writes an eloquent letter to Peggy asking for her help in wooing the earnest Eliza, Peggy is skeptical but finds herself unable to deny such an impassioned plea. Thus begins her own journey into the Revolution!
I found this book to be disappointing. I was excited to read more about Peggy Schulyer, the forgotten Schulyer sister or at least the one that doesn’t get nearly enough attention as her older sisters Angelica and Eliza. When I went into this book, I assumed that it would focus on Peggy’s relationship with Hamilton. This book spent the first 200 pages not even involving Hamilton. I found it very hard to get through this book and that is why it took me well over a month to read it. My aim was to read it before I watched Hamilton: The Musical in February, especially as this book was published the same month, but I just couldn’t. In fact it took me just over a month to read it and if anything, it helped give me a push into a reading slump!
The characters are obviously based off real life people and through the authors own research, she has come to her own conclusion on these people and how they behaved. Of course, many of the things that happen or are said by Peggy are entirely fictional. But the war and fighting and the families relationship with Alexander Hamilton and some of the more peaceful events, such as the more peaceful events, are also the truth. A lot of Peggy’s relationship with Hamilton in this book is assumed. The author states that there are only two letters available between the two and that Hamilton did sometimes mention Peggy in his letters to Eliza Schulyer, Peggy’s older sister.
Peggy was written to be an intelligent and likeable character. I sympathised with her want to be listened to and her annoyance at how a man’s opinion was so much more worthy than hers. You could see her development throughout the book into becoming a more intelligent woman who started to become a little more feisty. Peggy is the forgotten Schulyer sister most of the time, and it was clear in this book that it frustrated her, especially as people were always more interested in her two older sisters. I’m not sure how real life Peggy felt about this though or if she was that jealous. I don’t know enough history about the Hamilton’s to say whether she was or not! Angelica and Eliza came across as how the stories often portray them; Angelica as the centre of attention and Eliza as a sweet and gracious woman. Alexander Hamilton also seemed to fairly accurate.
The pacing was so slow in this book. I reached a point when I was half way through this book where I genuinely just didn’t want to pick it up but as I’d powered through half of it already, I knew that I just had to finish reading it. There wasn’t much action in this book, with some scenes that featured a little but for the most part, it was hearing of the battles that were happening away from Peggy or the prospect of war reaching Albany. I understand that this book is based on real life events but I felt that it could’ve perhaps jumped through events.
The book does spend some time on Peggy’s search for romance, especially after her sisters both marry. This spurs Peggy to start to consider her own love life, while she also internally deals with the fact that her family rely on her the most. We follow her journey into finding love and parts of it did make me feel sorry for her as I can understand that it must’ve been hard to be an intelligent woman when the image of a woman was one that was entirely different to what it is now, that being that women were essentially supposed to look pretty and not speak out as much as Peggy wanted too.
It’s such a shame that I didn’t enjoy this book more as I was genuinely looking forward to it but it just felt so slow and drawn out. In all honesty, I didn’t feel much towards this book other than slumpy. I blame it for putting me in a slump for the entirety of February and some of March as I just could not be bothered to pick it up. I really just think it could have been improved if the pace had been faster!
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