Author: Tracey Enerson Wood
Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Feb. 2, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Sourcebooks Landmark
Book Rating: 8.5/10
She built a monument for all time. Then she was lost in its shadow. Discover the fascinating woman who helped design and construct the Brooklyn Bridge.
Emily Roebling refuses to live conventionally—she knows who she is and what she wants, and she’s determined to make change. But then her husband asks the unthinkable: give up her dreams to make his possible.
Emily’s fight for women’s suffrage is put on hold, and her life transformed when her husband Washington Roebling, the Chief Engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge, is injured on the job. Untrained for the task, but under his guidance, she assumes his role, despite stern resistance and overwhelming obstacles. But as the project takes shape under Emily’s direction, she wonders whose legacy she is building—hers, or her husband’s. As the monument rises, Emily’s marriage, principles, and identity threaten to collapse. When the bridge finally stands finished, will she recognize the woman who built it?
Based on the true story of an American icon, The Engineer’s Wife delivers an emotional portrait of a woman transformed by a project of unfathomable scale, which takes her into the bowels of the East River, suffragette riots, the halls of Manhattan’s elite, and the heady, freewheeling temptations of P.T. Barnum. The biography of a husband and wife determined to build something that lasts—even at the risk of losing each other.
Immersive, insightful, and alluring!
The Engineer’s Wife is a fascinating tale that sweeps you away to 1870s New York and into the life of Emily Roebling, a young woman ahead of her time who is a suffragist at heart but due to the sudden loss of her father-in-law and her husband’s debilitation from caisson disease focuses her attention on overcoming the social constraints, corruption, and prejudices of the time to complete the construction of the infamous Brooklyn Bridge.
The prose is descriptive and rich. The characters are flawed, driven, and engaging. And the plot is a vivid, absorbing tale of life, loss, love, hope, greed, politics, family, sacrifices, tragedy, successes, and the intricacies of building a suspension bridge in the late 19th century.
Overall, The Engineer’s Wife is a nuanced, perceptive, well-written tale that does a beautiful job of highlighting Tracey Enerson Wood’s impressive research and considerable knowledge into this magnificent engineering feat that still graces the New York skyline today and the people who dared to imagine, design, and build it.
This novel is available in paperback on February 2, 2021.
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Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.