Tracy Spencer Silver is an essayist best known for her writing on her family’s history. Though she is the biological daughter of Timothy Weeks, Tracy’s father has never been much of a dad to her. From the age of seven, she was raised by her mother and her mother’s wife. And though the two-mom thing worked out pretty well for her, Tracy’s mothers asked her Uncle Michael to step in as a male role model when needed.
Tracy embraced Michael as the dad she never had, but her perfect image of him shattered when she caught the married man in a compromising situation. Determined to render justice, she drugged him with a magical potion and presented his memories as evidence in a mystical courtroom. But though she defied him to confirm he wasn’t like every other man, her righteousness was shaken with the revelation of his dark and shocking secrets.
This story is told in The Boot of Destiny.
Appearance & Personality
At seven, Tracy is described as “a bookish tomboy” by her mother. And though the “bookish” part of the description would always be true, Tracy’s role as flower girl in her Uncle Michael’s wedding forever altered her perception that being a nerd and being pretty were mutually exclusive.
Over the course of a week spent in the company of bridesmaids who she’d known were gorgeous from the start, but who she hadn’t realized were irredeemable dorks until she spent time with them, Tracy learned that she wouldn’t necessarily get stupider if she brushed her hair every once in a while—or if she wore the dresses her grandmother bought her on more than just special occasions.
Tracy is as tall as her mother, but is far more comfortable in her own skin and far less likely to stumble over her own feet. She has the same brown hair and brown eyes as Veronica, but she thinks of them as “deep” and “mysterious” rather than “as dull as a puddle of mud.”
Personality-wise, Tracy is fiercely loyal and kind—but only to those she is sure deserve her love. Her fatal flaw is her self-righteousness, which gets her into trouble a bit more often than she’d like.
Warning: Here there be spoilers.
Tracy was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on September 30, 1992, to a seventeen-year-old mother and a college kid who forgot to put the condom on.
Brought home by parents who’d been forced to marry by her paternal grandfather, Tracy was nevertheless loved by all who took part in raising her. And it’s worth noting that a great many Silvers played a role in bringing her up.
From her grandparents to her Uncle Matt to her mother’s cousins Michael and Ashley (who became an honorary uncle and aunt, respectively), Tracy was blessed with more parents and surrogate parents than any kid she knew. She was a light in the darkness for them, for a family still in the midst of their Great Schism. And she was a balm when their patriarch, Eli Silver, died on April 9, 1994.
That said, Tracy’s very existence was a complicated thing for everyone who knew that her mother was never meant to be with a man. And everyone knew, except Veronica herself.
By the time Tracy turned seven, even she could sense that her mother was unhappy more often than not. And so, with the help of Uncle Matt (and a potion he’d discovered in the journal of an ancestor’s witchy fourth wife), Tracy nudged her mother into a harrowing journey down memory lane. By sneaking a pinch of potion into Veronica’s evening tea, Tracy forever altered the course of her mother’s life—and her own life, as well.
Over the course of the next year, Tracy’s parents would divorce, she and her mother would move from their apartment at 1325 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston to the family’s ancestral home on Cape Cod, and her soon-to-be second mom would move in with them for good.
It was a lot of change all at once, but new friendships ferried Tracy through the storm. Lincoln Baker, Tana Burns, and Tori Hancock would become close confidants—so close, in fact, that when each of them came out in the ensuing years, it would be to Tracy and her two moms that they would first confide their secrets.
On May 17, 2004, the day same-sex marriage became legal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Tracy’s two mothers were married. And it was this event, moreso than any other, which truly marked the start of Tracy’s adolescence.
Her family now legally “complete,” the uncertainty of Tracy’s early years gave way to a period of prolonged peacefulness. The girl’s already good grades neared perfection, her regular email correspondence with Uncle Michael taught her more about art and music than she ever could have hoped for, and weekends under the tutelage of Uncle Matt prepared her for her later career as the family’s official historian.
She spent too much time with her friends, kept an obnoxiously embarrassing LiveJournal, and read more dystopian YA novels than any kid ever should. She was a regular ol’ teenager, and life was good. Even events like the murder of Robin Gates, her favorite musician (and her Uncle Michael’s ex-girlfriend), were things Tracy could take in stride. She was just that well-adjusted. Her life was just that stable.
Then came her college visit to Hawaii, to see if she’d like to go to school where her Uncle Michael taught. After that visit, nothing would be the same.
Tracy’s transition into adulthood, as documented in The Boot of Destiny, began with a flight to Hawaii the week of Thanksgiving 2010. Suspended from school for pantsing the pervert Brian Meltzer, Tracy decided to fly to O‘ahu a day early, and to surprise Uncle Michael and Aunt Jenna. Unfortunately, this early arrival found her stumbling upon a scene she couldn’t possibly understand: Michael holding a baby while his wife and two other women looked on with sadness and melancholy in their eyes.
Knowing that Michael and Jenna had struggled with infertility, Tracy assumed that Michael had somehow gotten one of the other women pregnant. She snuck away from the house before she’d yelled her intended “Surprise!” and went back to the airport to hang out until the next day (when Michael and Jenna had planned to pick her up). And while she was at the airport, she hacked into Michael’s email and found an unsent message which seemed to confirm her worst suspicions.
The college trip proceeded as planned, with Tracy doing her best to hide her disappointment in what she’d learned. But all the while, and for the months that followed, she began collecting evidence of Michael’s guilt.
When Michael and Jenna flew in to Massachusetts in March 2011 to see the premiere of a new play at the theater built into the family’s old barn, Tracy did to Michael what she’d done to her mother years before: she drugged him with potion and forced him to confront the ghosts of his past. But this time she took the trip too, alongside the person she’d drugged, so that she could put Michael on trial for his “crimes against femininity.”
Over the course of the evening that followed, Tracy sought to prove that Michael was a hypocrite, a cheat, and not at all the glorious hero she’d always imagined him to be. She sought to push him off the pedestal she’d built for him in her mind.
But at every turn, Michael challenged Tracy’s understanding of the events she’d spent months researching. And ultimately, he proved he was not guilty of the biggest crime Tracy had accused him of: cheating on his wife and fathering another woman’s child.
Their relationship was strained for a good while after that, but Michael and Jenna still invited Tracy to stay in their home when she started at the University of Hawaii the following fall. And eventually, they regained some semblance of the good will they’d had before.
It took time, but Tracy loved the man too much to give up on him forever. And Michael, he had always been the forgiving type—and a hater of conflict besides. So he was happy to have her back in his life as soon as she was ready.
Behind the Scenes
Tracy Silver was the protagonist of E. Christopher Clark’s stage play Temptress, which had its world premiere at the Players’ Ring in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in January 2014.
Meghan D. Morash played the part of Tracy in that production, and the character of Tracy wouldn’t be the same without Meghan’s influence.