Sunday, November 27, 2016

"Hard To Die" by Andra Watkins - A Novel About Theodosia Burr, Daughter of Aaron Burr

Leveraging the acclaim accorded to Broadway phenomenon "Hamilton," author Andra Watkins has crafted a fascinating metaphysical novel exploring the death and possible after life of Aaron Burr's daughter, Theodosia. Ms. Burr disappeared at age 29 in a shipwreck as she was returning to see her father.

In this story, Teodosia returns to life in 1950 as an inhabitant of a Nowhere world - halfway between death and immortality. She and others in a similar situation are given up to 13 chances to redeem themselves by helping out an assigned target. In the case of Theodosia, she is assigned to help a West Point cadet who is being coerced to return to a life as a spy, needing to save the world from Soviet nuclear aggression. Both Theodosia and Cadet Richard Cox share a common enemy in a person who manifested himself both as George the spymaster and as a General who was a bitter rival of Aaron Burr.

The novel, "Hard To Die," contains scenes both of violent confrontation and of  tender coming together of Theodosia and Cadet Cox, whose character is based on an actual mystery of a West Point cadet who disappeared without a trace. The settings of the action at West Point, Garrison, the Hudson River islands, Grand Central Stations are all familiar to me, and are rendered very graphically and clearly. Ms. Watkins' writing is of such a nature that she caused me to care about the fate of these shadowy creatures inhabiting a mysterious dimension.



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