Meg Powers is the daughter of the President of the United States. She’s about to start college. She’s living through the worst year of her life. In June, Meg was kidnapped by terrorists—brutalized, starved, and left for dead. She was shackled in a deserted mine shaft and had to smash the bones in her own hand to escape.
Meg Powers survived the unthinkable. Ahead of her is the grueling physical therapy to heal her broken body, and the challenge of leaving the safety of the White House for her freshman year at college.
But harder still than the physical and social challenges ahead are her shattered sense of self and her family. Will she ever forgive her mother, the President, for her “can not, have not, and will not negotiate with terrorists” stance—even when it came to her own daughter? And, can Meg forgive herself for having the strength, the intelligence, and the wit to survive?
In a brilliant tour de force, Ellen Emerson White tells her most ambitious and intense story about a most unlikely, but deeply affecting, heroine.
Ellen Emerson White started writing about Meg Powers in The President’s Daughter and continued in White House Autumn and Long Live the Queen (coming in 2008 from Feiwel and Friends). When Ellen is not writing, she’s watching the Red Sox. She lives in New York City.
The worst part—although it was hard to choose—was that she still cried. A lot. Mostly at night; always alone. Which was risky, because her parents inevitably came in to check on her, and she’d have to pretend to be asleep.
But now, it was going on to two in the morning, and she was by herself in her room, and she sort of wished one of them would come in. See how she was. Have a conversation about nothing in particular, maybe. But, it was the middle of the night. Normal people were already asleep.
Meg pushed away from her desk. Her chair was on rollers now, which was one of the many changes in her life they didn’t really discuss. At least she wasn’t using the actual wheelchair anymore. Just a brace and a cane. And her hand, gosh, she could almost move two of her fingers now, and—yes, it was time for Nightly Self-Pity.
For that matter, it was also time for some more ibuprofen. At this point, the doctors only gave her prescription painkillers as a last resort, and she couldn’t quite bring herself to tell them how much she still needed the god-damned things.
She reached for her cane, then changed her mind. The thought of making her way across the room to the bathroom was too tiring. Hell, even the concept of getting up and limping the few steps over to her bed was exhausting to contemplate.
“Hey, you,” she said to her cat, Vanessa, who was asleep on the rocking chair by the fireplace. “You want to fetch me some water?”
Vanessa stretched out one paw slightly, but otherwise didn’t respond. Didn’t even open her eyes.
Of course, this was the White House. All she had to do was pick up the damned phone, and someone would appear within seconds, and—except that it was too late to bother them. Too embarrassing. Too pathetic.