The President's Wife: A Novel
"A vivid portrait of a woman whose remarkable role and achievements in history have largely been relegated to the shadows... A fascinating read!" —Kristina McMorris, New York Times bestselling author of Sold on a Monday and The Ways We Hide
From the USA Today bestselling author of The Engineer's Wife comes an incredible historical novel about the First Lady who clandestinely assumed the presidency.
Socialite Edith Bolling has been in no hurry to find a new husband since she was widowed, preferring to fill her days with good friends and travel. But the enchanting courting of President Woodrow Wilson wins Edith over and she becomes the First Lady of the United States. The position is uncomfortable for the fiercely independent Edith, but she's determined to rise to the challenges of her new marriage—from the bloodthirsty press to the shadows of the first World War.
Warming to her new role, Edith is soon indispensable to her husband's presidency. She replaces the staff that Woodrow finds distracting, and discusses policy with him daily. Throughout the war, she encrypts top- secret messages and despite lacking formal education becomes an important adviser. When peace talks begin in Europe, she attends at Woodrow's side. But just as the critical fight to ratify the treaty to end the war and create a League of Nations in order to prevent another, Woodrow's always-delicate health takes a dramatic turn for the worse. In her determination to preserve both his progress and his reputation, Edith all but assumes the presidency herself.
Now, Edith must contend with the demands of a tumultuous country, the secrets of Woodrow's true condition, and the potentially devastating consequences of her failure. At once sweeping and intimate, The President's Wife is an astonishing portrait of a courageous First Lady and the sacrifices she made to protect her husband and her country at all costs.
Praise for The President's Wife: A Novel
"Wood strikes on a potent irony in her telling of the Wilson presidency, by imagining the immense power wrought by a first lady in an era where women could neither vote nor hold office. Fans of revisionist historicals with strong female leads should check this out." — Publishers Weekly
"Fascinating...Wood’s meticulous research and attention to detail provide the context we need to understand Edith’s decisions as she wrestles with an overwhelming workload and her conscience: is she doing the right thing, or doing more harm than good? A great choice for fans of books by Marie Benedict, Fiona Davis, and Patti Callahan, featuring amazing but often unheralded women." — Booklist
"A stately and dignified account that is beautifully leavened by intimate glimpses of Edith and Woodrow in their happiness, grief, anger, and optimism." — Library Journal
"Lush, lyrical, and riveting, with exquisite detail that brings alive the courageous determination of one of America’s First Ladies, The President’s Wife will charm and astonish you, while holding you tight in its intriguing grip." — Jennifer Rosner, award-winning author of The Yellow Bird Sings and Once We Were Home
"Tracey Enerson Wood once more paints a vivid portrait of a woman whose remarkable role and achievements in history have largely been relegated to the shadows. Rich in historical detail and impressively researched, The President’s Wife gives the reader a rare peek through the lens of Edith Wilson, from her courtship with a president to her decisions over matters ultimately leading to world wars. A fascinating read!" — Kristina McMorris, New York Times bestselling author of Sold on a Monday and The Ways We Hide