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Ratings and Reviews (2 13 star ratings
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4.5 out of 5
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    Delightful, funny and touching

    I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for a fair review, which turns out to be easy, because this novella is an absolute delight. John Hunter is a Black soldier in the Rhode Island battalion, who is fighting in exchange for the freedom of his sister's husband. At the battle for Yorktown, he encounters Henry Latham, an Englishman who does not want to return to England, and who never, ever stops talking. Through a series of unexpected events, Henry winds up accompanying John on his journey back to Rhode Island, and they become friends, and then more than friends. Henry's frivolous manner hides an unexpectedly thoughtful mind; John, who has, by necessity, a more serious approach to life, finds this at first irritating, then amusing, and eventually, unexpectedly, necessary. Milan does a very convincing job of showing this shift, and the feelings and thoughts behind it, and of building a convincing romance between the two protagonists. Also, there is cheese, which is so utterly, overwhelmingly terrible as to be almost a character in its own right (and probably a metaphor, too, but I was too busy laughing to look for it...). This novella was inspired by the musical Hamilton, but it doesn't require you to know the musical, or indeed much American history (I haven't seen the musical, and I'm an Australian who never studied any American history at all). I thoroughly enjoyed this book – if you like romances which make you laugh all the way through and leave you feeling uplifted at the end, then this is one for you.
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    Romance & social commentary in Revolutionary War

    I originally read this novella as part of the anthology Hamilton's Battalion. I then got an ARC of the stand-alone novella from the author and re-read it. And it's just as funny the second time. Goodness, I have a lot of passages highlighted! I love the witty repartee between the characters. There's some serious long term pining going on between the men too, who are apart for over a decade before they reunite. Corporal John Hunter is a black American. He's fighting for the freedom of a black man (blacks in Rhode Island were offered their manumission papers in exchange for service in the continental army). He's already free, but he agreed to serve in order to win the freedom of his sister's fiancee. John's goal is to make it through the war without dying. He's cynical about the changes of achieving meaningful freedom for himself or fellow blacks. Henry Latham is a British officer. Second son of the Duke of Scanshire, he's a walking disaster of an officer due to his scatterbrained interest in everything and a tongue that simply won't stop flapping. He's hysterical. Every thought that flies through his head must also come flying off his tongue, and he's comic relief for over half the book. Henry and John meet at the battle of Yorktown where they try to kill one another, and they end up setting off on a cross country trek together with weeks to get to know one another's hearts. Henry is captivated by the thoughts embodied in the Declaration of Independence, and that's where much of the deep thoughts of the book come from. Henry wrestles with what it means that ALL men are created equal, including people of color, and Henry's mental gymnastics make John think further too. In the midst of a touching love story between Henry and John, there is a deep current of revolutionary (ha! see what I did there?!) thought. The reader can tell that the author has been thinking a lot about current events and how modern America is not living up to the ideals that this country was founded upon. The Pursuit Of... offers comedy, romance, and blistering social commentary. There's a lot packed in this novella.
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