Katherine Tegen Books
February 13, 2018
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For fans of the extraordinary Broadway musical Hamilton, New York Times bestselling author L. M. Elliott delivers a richly detailed historical novel about the lively Peggy Schuyler and her devoted friendship to Alexander Hamilton during the drama of the American Revolution.
Revolutionary. Friend. Lover. Sister.
Peggy Schuyler has always felt like she’s existed in the shadows of her beloved sisters: the fiery, intelligent Angelica and the beautiful, sweet Eliza. The three of them have a magnetic pull—they are stronger together than they are alone. But it’s in the throes of a chaotic war that Peggy finds herself a central figure amid Loyalists and Patriots, spies and traitors, and friends and family. Charming, quick-witted, and clever beyond compare, Peggy is determined to use her talents to make her own mark on the Revolutionary War.
When a flirtatious aide-de-camp, Alexander Hamilton, writes an eloquent letter to Peggy asking for her help in wooing the earnest Eliza, Peggy finds herself unable to deny such an impassioned plea. A fast friendship forms between the two, but Alexander is caught in the same war as her father, General Philip Schuyler, and the danger to all their lives is real. Everything is a battlefield—from the front lines to their carefully coded letters—and Peggy must put herself in harm’s way to protect the people she loves. But will her bravery and intelligence be enough to keep them all safe?
It has been far too long since the last time I read a truly captivating historical fiction YA novel - something that Hamilton and Peggy! absolutely was.
Aside from some of those Dear America books I read in middle school, I have read remarkable little about the American Revolution. Most of what I know about it probably from history class and a few TV documentary type shows. It was really interesting and enlightening to read something that showed me the people behind some of those Names I knew factually.
I really, really loved how L.M. Elliott showed us Peggy Schuyler through a modern eye but still in keeping with the time period and what is known about her, her family, the time, etc.
"...Would consider any man "a poor thing," who seeks to entertain and garner the friendship of other men by gossiping and criticizing women." (pg 304)
As her author bio for the book says, this story combined "her passions for research, American history, theater, ad early feminism." Pairing the hopes and desires of Peggy (and several other female characters) with the fight for American independence was very well done; it is a logical pairing.
That the men were working so hard for independence, for freedom and the ability to make their own choices while still subjugating women and owning slaves is confounding, to say the least, when you think about it. But I am happy that the author did not ignore either fact, it really helps you to recognize how frustrated - and later, disappointed - some must have been when 'freedom' was won.
Peggy -and really the entire Schuyler family are people I am sorry I did not previously know more about. Her story and how it fits with that of Alexander Hamilton (whether you know it from the musical or reading or just what was mentioned in school) really beings the Revolution to life.
Hamilton and Peggy! is a fantastic YA historical fiction. The author does a great job using both historical fact and a bit of (reasoned, logical) imagining to allow us to meet Peggy and, through her, learn about some of the less often portrayed elements of the period and the war.
finished copy received, for review consideration, from publisher