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Review: Hamilton's Battalion by Lerner, Milan, Coleman

Friday, June 29, 2018 - 06:47

As I hope it will become apparent, I'm trying to get caught up on a bunch of reviews that are on my to-do list. ("Hope" because I haven't actually gotten caught up on writing them all.) The hardest part (other than getting the "round to-it") is trying to make up plausible reading dates to insert in the Goodreads version of the reviews. I know the general period in which I read these things, but specific dates are non-recoverable.


Hamilton’s Battalion by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, and Alyssa Cole (self-published, 2018)

I previously reviewed Cole’s story “That Could Be Enough”, which I read out of order. Now I’ve gone back and read the other stories: Rose Lerner’s “Promised Land” about a Jewish couple who end up on opposite sides of the revolution (or do they?) and learn new things about each other and about the meaning of freedom and legacy; and Courtney Milan’s “The Pursuit Of...” which again begins with an “enemies to lovers” scenario, this time between a white British officer who has fallen for American ideals (and one American in particular) and a black American who takes a more cynical view of the whole liberty and freedom thing.

I wouldn’t normally have read these stories simply because time is limited and I have a really long TBR list with material nearer and dearer to my heart, but that said, I really loved both of them. (Though not as much as I loved Cole’s contribution. See: “nearer and dearer”.) They both tackled issues of identity and inequity in history in ways that didn’t flinch from truth while still giving the reader an enjoyable and realistic relationship. I especially love Lerner’s intimate immersion in the historical Jewish experience that explores questions of integration and co-existence while maintaining identity.

If I had all the time in the world to read, I’d be seeking out more from all of these authors. And if you aren’t constrained by the same desires I have (#1 to focus on my own writing, and #2 to focus my reading on queer women) and you enjoy top-of-the-line historical romance, I encourage you to read my share.

Major category: 
historical