Alex and Eliza: A Love Story Summary & Study Guide

Melissa de la Cruz
This Study Guide consists of approximately 42 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Alex and Eliza.
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Alex and Eliza: A Love Story Summary & Study Guide Description

Alex and Eliza: A Love Story Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz.

The following version of this book was used to create this study guide: De La Cruz, Melissa. Alex and Eliza: A Love Story. New York: Penguin Random House, 2017. Print.

The novel starts in 1777 with a prologue that introduces the Schuylers. The parents, Catherine and Philip, had recently lost a fortune when the British torched their estate in Saratoga. Because of this, they needed to marry off their three eldest daughters: Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy.

The first seven chapters are set at the Schuyler’s estate in Albany on the day that Eliza Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton first met. Eliza first saw him in the staircase, as he was delivering news of a court-martial to her father. Because he was the messenger of such horrible news, and because she found him attractive, Eliza spent the night making him miserable. As a joke, he surrendered his handkerchief to her. Then, as a trick, a mean drunk got hold of the handkerchief and sent it to Alex with a forged note from Eliza that asked him to meet her in the hayloft. Of course, she never came, and Alex is disappointed.

Two years later, Eliza went to Morristown to live with her aunt, Gertrude, to help inoculate soldiers against smallpox. After Alex heard of Eliza's impending arrival, he took to patrolling the road into town looking for her. When her carriage broke down, he was there to give her a ride into town. But, when he asked her about the note, and she realized he had believed her capable of such harlotry, she became furious. Alex tried, in vain, to win Eliza over. But, she did not thaw until Alex came to get inoculated by her.

Peggy and Angelica arrived in Morristown because their parents’ finances were worsening. They helped Eliza inoculate the high ranking officers at Washington’s headquarters. Gertrude decided to host a dinner for the girls, and she invited Alex and his army friends. Alex and Eliza bonded over their hatred of slavery and their support of abolition. After the dinner, the Schuyler girls discussed their relationships. Peggy declared that she intended to marry Stephen, the richest bachelor in America. Angelica declared that she intended to marry John Church, even if she had to elope.

When Alex’s friend Laurens left to Charleston, where the British army was headed, Alex was afraid that he might lose him. Looking for comfort, he went to Eliza and asked her to accompany him to the infirmary. The two helped the wounded soldiers. When she got home, she admitted her feelings to her sisters.

Gertrude hosted another dinner for all of the Schuyler sisters and all of their suitors. At the dinner, Angelica attacked Alex for having no money and no name. After dinner, Angelica told Eliza that their mother had written and said Eliza must marry Henry Livingston immediately.

Propelled by Angelica’s criticism, Alex asked Washington for his own battalion to command. But, when he receives a command post and went to tell Eliza the good news, he found out that she was being forced to marry Henry.

Alex went out of town to try to negotiate a prisoner swap. When he got back to town, he found out that Henry was throwing his bachelor party in the barn and that he had moved the wounded soldiers to the whorehouse. When Alex arrived at the barn to challenge Henry to a duel, he heard that Eliza and Henry had eloped.

As he walked past Eliza’s house, he heard a scream and a crash. He dashed inside. Henry was on the verge of raping Eliza. Alex threw him off and beat him, but he decided not to challenge Henry to a duel because Eliza asked him not to do it.

Instead, he took a horse to Eliza’s parents’ house to ask the Schuylers to call off the wedding and allow him to marry Eliza. They agreed, and he and the Schuylers arrived back in Morristown just in time to stop the wedding. Alex and Eliza marry, and they spend their honeymoon together with the rest of the Schuyler family at their estate.

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