Here’s my disclaimer: I know absolutely nothing about Hamilton the Broadway musical, and I know even less about Alexander Hamilton himself. But, because I like to be “in the know” enough to toss in my two cents during small talk, I thought this book looked interesting enough.
I tend to go through young adult (“YA” for those of us “in the know”) book phases. Actually, I tend to cycle through a few different genres, and if I’m not interested that genre at the moment, then reading that particular novel will feel like slogging through an archaic book report.
…takes a moment to brush up on actual Alexander Hamilton history via Wikipedia. Then regrets it. Explanation in postscript.
Alex & Eliza is the young-adult version of the love story of Alexander Hamilton and his future wife, Elizabeth Schuyler. According to the book (not Wikipedia, so take all of this with a grain of salt) Eliza Schuyler was the second daughter of a relatively successful American general in the American Revolution. Eliza and her two sisters, Angelica and Peggy, domineered the wealthy social circles of Albany, New York, and the family was highly respected in the newly established United States of America.
Alexander Hamilton, on the other hand, was a nameless, connectionless bastard (literally, not derogatorily…or is it always derogative?) from Nowheres-ville, West Indies. Obviously, this is a big no-no in polite society (see: Anything Jane Austen has ever written).
He’s extraordinarily talented with a quill, so he has earned a place as the secretary of none other than General George Washington himself. He falls for Eliza the first time he sees her, and spends the book mooning over her.
“Romance during wartime,” [Alex] thought. “In exceptional times, none of the usual rules apply.”
“Then again, perhaps it’s not the times that are exceptional,” he thought. “Perhaps it’s the girl.”
Alex uses his words, both written and otherwise, to woo the practical, sassy, gorgeous (all YA characters are gorgeous) Eliza into his musket-firing arms.
Alex & Eliza is a quick read with a sweet aftertaste. I’m not going to attempt any kind of rating system, but it was light and enjoyable. A good summer read.
P.S. According to Wikipedia, I learned that 11 years after their marriage, Hamilton “became the first major American politician publicly involved in a sex scandal.” Hamilton was blackmailed by the woman’s husband, and drama ensued. The reliable website assured me that Eliza forgave her husband in the end. Alex & Eliza concluded well before this messy drama took place.