The book is about the lives of various women who were prominent in the lives of the founding fathers and other men of political note during the birth of the nation. The premise of the book is good but I found it difficult to read. There isn't a lot to hold the characters together, and rather than make them each distinct vignettes about a handful of women, I felt like the author tried a little too hard to tie all of these women together, regardless of how direct their relationships to each other were. It made it tough to follow. It did, however, offer a glimpse into life at the time and for some of these women it revealed quite a bit about their personalities as well as the men in their lives and how they treated women. If you have a lofty image of Ben Franklin or Alexander Hamilton, well, let's just say their treatment of women was not exactly enlightened.
This is not generally a period of history that interests me so maybe that was some of my disappointment in the book. I like the author (as an NPR journalist) but the book did not engage me as much as I was anticipating. Others interested in this period of history might like it more than I did.