Title: Alex & Eliza
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Published: April 11, 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Historical Romance, Young Adult, Fiction
Stars: 3.5 Content Rating: 1
Synopsis: Their romance shaped a nation. The rest was history.
1777. Albany, New York.
As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.
Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.
I hate to admit it but this book took me quite a long time to actually read. I bought it because the cover is beautiful and the synopsis sounded like a perfect love story. (I am a sucker for romances) It was the book I was most excited to read this month besides ACOWAR. I had started it and even though it was good I kept getting distracted with other things. I read 3 other books in-between the time I started and then actually finished. That being said it was still really good. I will tell you why after I make a confession.
I should start all reviews with a confession. It seems like I am confessing something every time I write down my thoughts. Usually it is because I felt like I should have known something that I didn’t.
Confession: I didn’t realize this is based off of a true story. Nor did I realize that Alex is THEE ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Like the founding father and writer of The Federalist Papers.
The name really did sound familiar when I was reading but they call him Colonel Hamilton through out the book and I didn’t catch on. I did do a little bit of research (meaning I used wikipedia, haha) and found that this love story is surprisingly accurate with the dates and family names and all that. It is still work of fiction but I love when a writer can fill in the historical blanks with a story such as this. Now I know who Alexander Hamilton is but I still didn’t know that there is/was a broadway show called Hamilton and about his life. Apparently it is absolutely fabulous. I would really love to see it. The author, Melissa De La Cruz says in the acknowledgments that it was her inspiration for this novel. The more I looked into it the more I want to know and I wish I would have done even this little bit of research before I read the book.
This story is about a young Alexander Hamilton. He has come to America to further his education and is an amazing writer studying law. Before he can finish schooling the school closes since war is brewing and Alex finds himself as aide-de-camp to General Washington. He is sent on several missions but finds himself at the Schulyer’s to deliver a message to General Philip Schulyer on the night of a ball. A ball that Mrs. Schyuler was throwing in an attempt to marry off her three oldest daughters. All of whom are very headstrong, smart, independent women. Alex meets Eliza there. He falls for her there. She however is upset by the new he gave her father and doesn’t want anything to do with him!
2 years later she finds herself on the road to Morristown, NJ. All the soldiers are there waiting out winter and her Aunt Gertrude helps her husband, The Doctor. Between giving a vaccination for the small pox and helping the wounded Eliza tries to keep her distance from a certain young Colonel. Try as she might Alex is pretty determined to get in her good graces.
The pressures of war time and the uncertainty for the future that it brings and the pressures from family make and shape Alex & Eliza’s love story. Eliza is from one of the oldest families in America and she is expected to marry well. At one point she points out that social rank is part of the reason they were fighting in a war. It is funny that I read tons (I mean tons and tons and tons) of romance novels. Quite a bit of them are set in England 1800’s. The British aristocracy is so normal in that setting and I never really considered America being that way. In America anyone can climb the ranks of society if he had enough money. Right? You really feel the pressure Eliza’s parents put on their girls to marry well. There wasn’t that many wealthy families at the time. Nor very many eligible young men.
In this story you get a good feel of the time. You meet General Washington along with some of the big name Generals and a Major Andre. I honestly thought Major Andre was a made up character and he is not. I had no idea. This story was not quite what I was expecting. It didn’t suck me in at the very beginning like I thought but I would definitely read it again. Especially now that I know most of these characters are based off real people! It is a good historical romance. A proper romance and one that I am so glad was written and shared! As always, happy reading friends!