Book Review: The Lost Diaries of Alexander Hamilton

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A recent historical fiction novel, The Lost Diaries of Alexander Hamilton by Sophie Schiller, gives insight into the early life of one of America’s founding fathers. Unlike Adams, Hancock, or a score of others, Hamilton was born in the West Indies, illegitimate, and with the bleakest of prospects. Schiller weaves an engaging tale of a young boy overcoming the problems of his parents, drunken relatives, and an early distaste for slavery. Hamilton befriends a young black boy, teaches him to read (against the law), and risks everything to free him. The setting is St. Croix and follows Hamilton up to and including Hurricane Marie, sometimes called the Alexander Hamilton hurricane – his first-person account was picked up by newspapers and propelled him into the international spotlight. Schiller creates realistic characters and doesn’t attempt to hide their flaws.

I recommend this book, especially if your only exposure to Alexander Hamilton is the play Hamilton.