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The Engineer's Wife

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  2,280 ratings  ·  524 reviews

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
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Sourcebooks Landmark
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,280 ratings  ·  524 reviews

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Karren  Sandercock
Thank to NetGalley, Tracey Enerson Wood and Lume Books for my copy of The Engineer's Wife.

In 1865, Emily Warren married Captain Washington Roebling, they met during the American Civil War and Wash was her older brother’s Gouverneur Kemble Warren’s aide. The couple was instantly attracted to each other, their courtship was conducted by mail and they didn’t spend a lot of time together due to the war. Wash and his father John were both engineers, they needed to finish the Covington Cincinnati Brid
Joan Happel
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a compelling novel of historical fiction about Emily Watson Roebling, a fascinating woman who was instrumental in the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. In 1864 Emily Warren meets Captain Washington “Wash” Roebling, a civil engineer. After they marry Emily leaves her own ambitions behind to help her husband and father-in-law, John Roebling, fulfill their dream of building a bridge connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan. During the project John Roebling dies of tetanus, and Wash is stricken with ...more
Many of us have walked over the Brooklyn Bridge, but probably most of us don’t know the story behind this bridge and what an enormous achievement back then it was to build such grand bridge and to take on such massive project. And the dedication it took.

1865, Emily Warren marries Captain Washington ‘Wash’ Roebling. She marries into the family of engineers. Father and son are working on finishing “the Cincinnati-Covington Bridge, which had been long delayed by the war (…),” linking Ohio and Kentu
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
I finished this novel because I was curious about Emily Warren Roebling, an engineer who helped build the Brooklyn Bridge. But it was a chore because of the pedestrian writing and wooden characters. It was a helpful sleep aid.
Mel (Epic Reading)
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley
Whenever I read fiction based on a true story I go in skeptical. Does the story feel too perfect? Is our lead character too strong or too unbelievable? And while there are people in the world that are incredible human beings; the reality is that most of us are just average and incapable of most feats in our favourite novels. In The Engineer's Wife it's 1865; and so women are arm candy, the suffragette cause is protesting forward, and white men believe themselves to be the best of the best. Our l ...more
Nan Williams
This was a wonderful and wonderfully enlightening novel based on the life of Emily Warren Roebling, wife of Washington Roebling and daughter in law of John Roebling who designed both the Cincinnati-Covington Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge.

With John’s untimely death and Washington’s unfortunate incapacity due to the bends, Emily finds herself tasked with not only supervising the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge but verifying the integrity of the supplies and components necessary. She is also t
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-long-ago
Read long ago. Excellent
The Engineer’s Wife

This book is a yummy mix of history (just after the Civil war, then through 1890ish), growing up, falling in love, marrying, having a career and family – all in a New York setting – Brooklyn to be exact – right at the feet of that wonderful old Brooklyn bridge!

I love a sticky read, and this stuck from the very first chapter. The reader follows Emily Warren, and soon is introduced to Washington Roebling. From there, the story grows like an oak tree spreading out in all directio
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
've only seen pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge, but just seeing those it is amazing to think that after 120 years it is still standing. The sheer majesty of it, with all the limestone, cables, and steel - how they all work together. It is mind-boggling to me.

This was the story of Emily Warren Roebling, the wife of Washington Roebling, who was the engineer to the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. After suffering from caisson's disease and rending Washington Roebling physically unable to work at the
Apr 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
 Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely adore when authors choose to write their books about women that history has forgotten. The Engineer's Wife is the tale of Emily Warren Roebling, wife of the chief engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge. The story begins with Emily and Wash's first meeting during the height of the American Civil War and follows the years until the completion of the building of the bridge. Along the way there ar
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical-arcs
The Engineer's Wife is a fascinating piece of historical fiction about Emily Warren, the wife of Wash Roebling, who was the Chief Engineer on the Brooklyn Bridge project. The Brooklyn Bridge is such an iconic and impressive landmark, but I didn't know much about its history. And I certainly didn't know that a woman contributed considerably to its building.

After Emily's husband, Wash, developed decompression sickness from working in high-pressure tanks and was unable to continue overseeing the p
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 b ...more
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
While the historical events that inspired this book are fascinating to me, I'm not sure how I feel about this retelling. The writing and overall structure of the story is fine. However, I found the characterization bland, which made it hard for me to really connect with Emily and Wash as real people. Emily was your basic Mary Sue "I'm not like other girls" heroine. While the book is told in first person, I never felt like I understood her. The pacing was also strange to me. Important events were ...more
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reading this compelling novel, I was introduced to Emily Warren who marries into the Roebling family of engineers, with many famous landmarks in their portfolio. But none to rival the bridge which John Roebling envisions building to span the East River and connect Manhattan with Brooklyn. John's unexpected death forces his son [her husband] Washington [Wash] to carry on with the project.

Early drawings and fund raising begin in earnest in 1864 as the Civil War raged. The bridge was finally compl
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
THE ENGINEER'S WIFE is a historical fiction novel that should be great, but it just fell flat. Based on the true story of Emily Warren Roebling, the wife of Washington Roebling, who designed and built the Brooklyn Bridge, I really thought I'd love this book. Emily had to take over the building and supervising of the bridge when her husband was afflicted with Caisson disease (the bends). The book spans from the Civil War to the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883.

The problems I have with th
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. It was a book club selection and recommended by a friend whose opinion I value very highly. Unfortunately I did not enjoy the book as much as she did.

Emily Warren Roebling was the wife of Washington Roebling, whose father John Roebling designed the Brooklyn Bridge. After John’s death, Washington was tasked with ensuring the building and completion of the bridge. After Washington was disabled by Caisson’s disease (what we would now call “the bend
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Engineer’s Wife by Tracey Enerson Wood is an amazing and fascinating historical fiction that focusses on Mrs. Emily Warren Roebling, as the main character, as the woman that should have been standing next to the men, Captain Washington Roebling and his father John, as the chief engineers that created and built the stunning and ingenious Brooklynn Bridge that was completed in 1883.

This story recounts the life dedicated to the creation and building of this breathtaking monument of human ingenu
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
I love the Historical Fiction genre because I get to learn about different people and eras while enjoying a compelling story. I'm often enticed by books featuring strong female characters and The Engineer's Wife sounded like it fit the bill on both counts.

Emily Roebling isn't a name many people will recognize but she is a woman who became increasingly vital to the building of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge back in the late 19th century. This story revolves around her personal and professional lives
Karen R
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love historical fiction that includes a strong pioneering woman facing uphill challenges and doggedly striving for well-deserved respect in what is presumed to be a man’s world. This was a great entry into that genre.

I feel so satisfied when I've finished a book having learned something. The well researched details about the design and building of the Brooklyn Bridge included here make me feel a bit smarter.
Nov 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
It's always great to read a historical fiction on a subject that I never thought about so there's lots of new information. So, a star each for covering a new person, a new subject and a debut novel!

Things I liked--there's not too much engineering and structural information to weigh down the story but enough so you know what's going on. There's plenty of details about the mishaps of those building the bridge which can be a little squimishing to imagine.

Things I might have changed--Adding some l
I'm not a fan of historical fiction in which real people are given thoughts and placed in situations that may never have happened, for the purpose of building interest in an historical event or person.

This book struck out for me on several levels:

1) Don't make things up about real people that you can't document and support. Gossip and speculation at the time don't count as historical sources. To say, "hey, PT Barnum and Emily Warren Roebling were in the same area at the same time, and may have i
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020, memoire
The story is a work of fiction. A historical fiction representing the brain behind the Brookly Bridge.⁣

An extremely powerful and inspiring story about a woman who made her father in laws dream come true. The fact that this book is based on a true story makes it even more inspiring.⁣ ⁣

The story takes place in 1865, Emily warren marries her brother’s dear friend, Captain Washington Wash Roebling.⁣ ⁣
Before they get married their courtship was through letter and when Wash return after war, he was
Addie Yoder
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
In the author's note, she says that the purpose of historical fiction is to bring light to a time in history that we may not have previously experienced. This book does just that. I love when I get into a historical fiction novel and find myself on Wikipedia trying to sort out the fact from fiction. Did PT Barnum and Emily overlap? What did caissons look like? I knew about the bends from hearing about SCUBA, but how did that work in the late 1800s? It took a minute or two for me to adjust to cha ...more
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fascinating, feminist glimpse into the creation of one of the country's most iconic structures.

Through the beginning of this book, the author covered a vast expanse of time, giving very little detail about major life moments of the main character, which made it difficult to emotionally engage with the story. However once we reached the part of the story where construction of the Brooklyn Bridge began, I was completely hooked.

The author did a brilliant job of interweaving historic events and
Mandi F
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was good. It was nice learning about the engineers who built the Brooklyn bridge. I didn’t know that the engineer’s wife had a hand in building the bridge. I thought the book started out strong but it got kind of boring towards the end. I would recommend it to a friend based on the fact that it gives insight into a topic most people don’t know of: the Brooklyn Bridge and it is historical fiction because that’s my favorite genre.
Jul 07, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5🌟 This was a very interesting read. It tells the story of Emily Roebling who was an integral part of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. In her time, women were not supposed to be in this area of work, or even considered worthy enough. However, she was determined to succeed and to be a part of her husband’s work. When certain circumstances required her to step up, she was able to fill the gaps and help complete the project.

There was a random love scene at the beginning that wasn’t neces
Alyssa Palombo
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
A clearly well-researched look at the life of a woman who should be much better known!
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: liz-ownes
Emily Warren is not the conventional woman, and knows what she wants in life. She is all for women's right, and is not afraid to speak out about it. Her brother G.K. is back on leave from the war, and brings along the man who will become her husband, Washington Roebling. The man who will allow her to be who she is, but also will change her life unlike she could have ever imagined. 

Washington makes it back safely from the war, although there are scars internally that he carries with him. However,
Yannick Tricia
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great historical novel! I really like this book. It was so interesting and you’ll learn so much....

It is inspired by the true story of Emily Roebling who married Washington Roebling at the end of the Civil War.
Washington Father John Roebling worked on several construction projects, like the bridge over Ohio river at Cincinnati.
Washington is an engineer and with is father they have planned to build a bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Sadly is father died at the begining of the project. Was
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Engineer's Wife is a historical fiction novel based on the true story of Emily Watson Roebling, who finds herself tasked with overseeing the construction and completion of Brooklyn Bridge. I knew nothing about Emily nor her contribution to American Architecture before reading this book, but that did not stop me from enjoying it. The Engineer’s Wife is written in a beautiful way that perfectly blends the historical facts of the character’s life with moments of heightened, suspenseful drama. E ...more
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Tracey Enerson Wood has always had a writing bug. While working as a Registered Nurse, starting an 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 short story writer. She has authored magazine columns and other non-fiction, written and directed plays of all lengths, including Grits, Fleas ...more

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  Mateo Askaripour is a Brooklyn-based writer whose bestselling debut novel, Black Buck, was published in January. It's been a Read with Jenna...
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“...Mother had always advised against sharing domestic troubles outside the family. They would only return as unwelcome rumor. But I trusted Eleanor, so when we stopped to admire the waves crashing and the cry of the seagulls, I spoke of the changes in my marriage, hoping for some insight to my dilemma.
'My dear,' Eleanor said, 'you can't expect a marriage to remain as it is in the beginning. If your souls continued to burn for each other in that way, you would be cinders.'
'Then what is the point? Why do we marry for life, only to see love fade away?'
'Ah, but true love doesn't fade away. It changes, deepens. It seems to disappear at times, only to come back in a different way. Think of early love like a wave in the ocean, building and building until it tumbles from its own height. Then the calm, the drawing back, only to swell and crash again. When you get past the breakers, you don't feel the crash, but the water is still lifting and falling in life's rhythm.'
...I adjusted my hat to better shield my eyes from the blinding sun. 'It seems I pushed through the breakers only to find my husband wasn't with me on the other side.'
'Then you must swim until you find him.' Eleanor kicked seaweed from the path of sandpipers, skittering from approaching foam. 'Don't be tempted back into the breakers, seeking another for the journey. You may find the ocean spits you back out.”
“Indeed. Tenements will significantly deflate the value of my Connecticut properties. Long Island is much better suited to that way of life, and that is an unselfish observation of fact. The faster the bridge is built, the more quickly the immigrants will discover it to be the perfect home for them.” 0 likes
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