Sunday, July 15, 2018

Books: "Love & War" On Hamilton & His Wife

Love & War: An Alex & Eliza Story
By Melissa de la Cruz
Putnam; Ages 12 and up; $18.99

Melissa de la Cruz retold the love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler in Alex & Eliza: A Love Story, which was released last year.

The love story continues to unfold in the sequel, Love & War, as Alex and Eliza begin their new life as a married couple while the war for American independence rages on.

Alex is determined as ever to secure his legacy, even if that means leaving behind his wife Eliza to join the front lines of the revolution. Torn apart by new trial and temptations, can Alex and Eliza's epic love survive?

"In all the world, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton thought there was no place more beautiful than Albany at springtime," writes de la Cruz. 

"Of course, the Pastures was dear to her as her childhood home, and even more so as the site of her wedding to Alexander Hamilton last winter. Time had done little to dampen their affection, and she was more in love with her husband than ever. Perhaps it was this love that led to Eliza's delight at anything and everything around her.

"But rose-colored glasses or no, it was hard to claim there was anywhere more glorious than late April in her hometown. The air was warm and the sun was mellow. Bare trees had covered themselves in soft green foliage and the sharp, tangy smell of fireplace smoke gave way to the softer aromas of hyacinths and crocuses, lilac and dogwood. Swallows darted through the air, snapping up flies and gnats, and newborn calves, foals, and shoats frolicked about the fields and sties. The mighty Hudson River was wreathed in mist at daybreak and teemed with fisherman's boats in the afternoon. Their nets hauled in plentiful catches of shad, whose roe had a delicate, almost nutty taste that paired perfectly with a salad of tender mustard greens...

"Indeed, as much as Eliza loved the Pastures, she was impatient to move out of her parents' house and into one with her husband. After their wedding, they'd only had a few blessed weeks together before he had to rush back to General Washington's headquarters. These days, Alex was chafing at their present living arrangements just as much as she was, and both were eager for more time on their own.

"Though she loved her husband dearly, and knew he loved her, they had spent more time apart than together during the course of their brief romance and even briefer marriage. The flame that burned between them was bright, but they had yet to live alone as husband and wife. In many ways Alex was still a stranger to her. Their lives were mediated by family and servants and soldiers, and as such, their private lives were not as private as they would have preferred.

"At least he'd been home now for a spell, although he was scheduled to leave again in a few days. Missing him was the lot of a soldier's wife, and instead of weeping and worrying, Eliza endeavored to be brave. Still, it was difficult, even in the midst of so much beauty, not to feel bereft. When Alex was gone, she felt his absence as a physical ache. She chided herself for being so selfish. While she was his wife, he was a man of the world, of the state, and she owed it to her country to share, didn't she?

"Her own parents has endured many long separations during their marriage. Even so, General and Mrs. Schuyler had at least a few years to establish themselves and start their family before their first parting."

Melissa de la Cruz delivers another dazzling chapter in Alex and Eliza's story with her trademark romance and heart-stopping intrigue.

The national tour of the Broadway show Hamilton will being the show to new audiences across the country, and the appetite for all things Hamilton will continue to grow.

Love & War is a great addition to the story of the romance that stood the test of time.

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