In an attempt to help some of my fellow 2020 debut authors who have had book launches and events cancelled because of the coronavirus, I am featuring several of them and their books over the coming weeks and months. The hope and intent is to help build awareness for new authors and their titles releasing this year. Up today, Tracey Enerson Wood and her novel, The Engineer’s Wife. Release date April 7th, 2020.
Tracey Enerson Wood has always had a writing bug. While working as a Registered Nurse, starting her own Interior Design company, raising two children, and bouncing around the world as a military wife, she indulged in her passion as a playwright, screenwriter and novelist. She has authored magazine columns and other non-fiction, written and directed plays of all lengths, including Grits, Fleas and Carrots, Rocks and Other Hard Places, Alone, and Fog. A New Jersey native, she now lives with her family in Florida and Germany.
Reviews and Praise for The Engineer’s Wife
“Well-researched with great attention to detail, The Engineer’s Wife is based on the true story about the exceptional woman who was tasked to build the Brooklyn Bridge. Though the great bridge would connect a city, it would also cause division and great loss for many. Tracey Enerson Wood delivers an absorbing and poignant tale of struggle, self-sacrifice and the family transformed by the building of the legendary American landmark during the volatile time of women’s suffrage, riots and corruption. A triumphant debut not to be missed!” – Kim Michele Richardson, bestselling author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
“The Engineer’s Wife is just the sort of novel I love and-I hope-write. Against all odds, a dynamic, historic woman builds a monument and changes history as she and her surrounding cast leap off the page. What a life and what a beautifully written and inspiring story! ” – Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The Queen’s Secret
“This important work of historical fiction brings to life the strength and resolve of a nineteenth-century woman overshadowed by men and overlooked by history books.” – Booklist
“Wood’s satisfying historical feels true to its era yet powerfully relevant to women’s lives today.” – Publishers Weekly
From the publisher, Sourcebooks Landmark
She built a monument for all time. Then she was lost in its shadow.
Emily Warren 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 Wash 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 Wash, 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. Lines blur as Wash’s vision becomes her own, and when he is unable to return to the job, Emily is consumed by it. 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 the Brooklyn Bridge, 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. It’s the story of a husband and wife determined to build something that lasts—even at the risk of losing each other.
Get your copy today at your favorite book retailer
Mini Interview with Tracey Enerson Wood
Q: What inspired you to write The Engineer’s Wife?
A: Some years ago, I was writing theatrical plays, and had a concept in need of a story. Coming from a multi-generational military family, the theme I wanted to explore was: What family dynamics are in play, when the very occupation that sustains them, and binds them together, may also kill them?
I wanted to write a fictionalized version of a real family, from the female perspective, and wanted to stray from the well-worn path of military and war. In my research, I discovered the Roebling family, and most especially, Emily Warren Roebling.
I was immediately fascinated by this woman, and the times she lived in. Her pluck, bravery, and sheer determination, in the midst of an enormous task that was destroying her beloved family, was irresistible. I was driven to write her story.
Q: Did you have to do any particular research for this book?
A: Not knowing much about bridge construction, I had a steep learning curve there. I also dove deep into the era, the fashion, politics, current events, and of course New York City history of the time. Having had an excellent college course in Women‘s Studies, which delved into issues such as how fashion affected women‘s progress, I knew this had to be included. And so much more-the history of suffrage, of P.T. Barnum, the Civil War experiences of my historical characters. I looked up the etymology of many words to ensure they were in use at the time, and that the meaning was the same as today. I had to make sure every business and product mentioned was around at the time.
Luckily for me, I grew up in the surrounding area, so at least the geographic features, flora and fauna were familiar to me.