The Engineer's Wife

The Engineer's Wife

Book - 2020
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"When Emily Warren Roebling marries Captain Washington 'Wash' Roebling-the handsome, charming soldier of her dreams, and her brother's dear friend and aide during the Civil War - a lifetime of family fun and happiness seems within her grasp. But then Wash accepts the position as Chief Engineer on his father's magnum opus, the Brooklyn Bridge, and it changes both of their lives forever. In Brooklyn, the happy home they'd dreamed of warps around the bridge. Incapacitated from working in the high-pressure tanks at the bridge's foundations, Wash convinces Emily to be his messenger to the site. Little by little, Emily finds herself taking over the project - with no formal training or education in math and science. Emily throws herself into building the bridge but faces suspicion and disparagement at every turn as she supervises dangerous construction sites and argues for the safety of the bridge amongst Manhattan's male elite. The Engineer's Wife delivers an emotional portrait of a woman transformed by a project of unfathomable scale, and of a husband and wife determined to build something that lasts--even at the risk of losing each other"--Provided by publisher.
Published: Naperville, Illinois :, Sourcebooks Landmark,, [2020]
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781492698135
Branch Call Number: F WOO
Characteristics: 344 pages ;,24 cm


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Mar 31, 2020

The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge was a massive undertaking in the late 19th century. It is fascinating to discover the integral part a woman played in keeping the project going. Emily Warren Roebling was a woman ahead of her time. When her husband and father-in-law were busy building a bridge in Cincinnati, she kept herself occupied reading engineering books. Then it was time to move onto the East River bridge or the Brooklyn Bridge. Papa (her father-in-law) dies of tetanus when work is barely begun. Her husband Wash gets the bends so badly from working at the base in the caisson that he is bedridden. Emily steps up despite the scorn of men around her and her husband's physical and emotional difficulties. There are times when she will wish for a rewind button. This book shows the toll such a project will exact from a family and especially a marriage. Tracey Enerson Wood shows the sweetness of their marriage as well as the bitter times -- the sickness and the health. I appreciate the many ways that the relationship of marriage is positively portrayed and shown to be of value. One disappointment for me was the way P.T. Barnum's character was expanded in a fictional way. As The Greatest Showman, he was undoubtedly a part of the story -- hopefully not to the extent he was portrayed. Give this to readers who love Marie Benedict and Stephanie Thornton.


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