Long Live the Queen

( 5 )

Overview

Being the President’s daughter isn’t easy, but Meg’s getting used to it. She’s even starting to have a life again—okay, not a normal life, but things are beginning to fall into a routine.

Then it happens—machine guns blast, a van screeches to a halt, and masked men grab Meg and take her away.

Meg doesn’t understand what the terrorists want. She doesn’t understand how her security was breached. But she does ...

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Long Live the Queen

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Overview

Being the President’s daughter isn’t easy, but Meg’s getting used to it. She’s even starting to have a life again—okay, not a normal life, but things are beginning to fall into a routine.

Then it happens—machine guns blast, a van screeches to a halt, and masked men grab Meg and take her away.

Meg doesn’t understand what the terrorists want. She doesn’t understand how her security was breached. But she does understand one thing—they have no intention of letting her live—and she has no intention of dying.

The President's daughter is a victim of kidnapping by terrorists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The author pulls no punches in this gripping tale, and combines a stirring plot with complex characters.” – Publishers Weekly

“Readers will stay with this character to the very end. An absorbing, thoughtful, and exciting novel.” – School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly

As her senior year winds to a close, Meg is having a perfectly ordinary day at school (as ordinary as it gets with two Secret Service agents tailing her) that ends with a violent abduction arranged by terrorists. Held captive and brutalized, then left chained in an abandoned mine shaft, Meg escapes by resorting to barely conceivable heroics. Her ordeal seems to have only begun, however, as she now faces the aftermath: a grueling physical recovery that will never be complete; emotional damage from her mother's absolute refusal to deal with her kidnappers; her pervasive sense of endangerment. With this entry White proves herself a master of action and adventure fiction; readers will want to plunge immediately into the next volume, Long May She Reign, to check in on Meg's progress. And there's good news, too-White plans a fifth Meg Powers novel, although she warns that it might not be told from Meg's point of view. Ages 12-up. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Meg Powers is just like any other 17-year-old, wondering where she'll go to college, playing tennis, making plans for the senior prom. What sets her apart is that she's the daughter of America's first woman president, who starred in both The President's Daughter and White House Autumn . Meg's ordered existence, constantly attended by the Secret Service, is brutally disrupted when she is kidnapped by unknown terrorists. Awakening chained to a bed in a darkened room, she embarks on an odyssey of horror, pain and hunger. Readers will be glued to the story of Meg's ordeal, which White describes in chilling detail. But Meg's troubles aren't over when she finally returns to safety. Now she has to put body and soul together and get on with her life, no easy task when she might never walk normally again and is tormented by fears, awake and asleep. The author pulls no punches in this gripping tale, and combines a stirring plot with complex characters. Ages 12-up. (Mar . )
School Library Journal
Gr 9-12-- Meg is a bright, attractive, witty 17 year old with a penchant for movie musicals, tennis, and skiing--a typical teenager who just happens to live in the White House because her mother is President of the United States. Despite the constant vigilance of her secret service agents, Meg is kidnapped by a group of terrorists, beaten, and left to die chained up in an abandoned mine shaft. The first third of the book, dealing with Meg's kidnapping and harrowing escape, is extremely suspenseful, totally absorbing, and quite realistic. The rest of the novel delves deeply into Meg's emotional and psychological recovery, including her resentment toward her mother for putting their lives in jeopardy by seeking high public office, as well as her physical recovery including extensive physical rehabilitation. The novel is effective in dealing with issues of post traumatic stress on the entire family, although the characterization of Meg's best friend is very weak: this teenager is just too clever and too wise for her years to be believed. Through it all, Meg is funny, courageous, and loving. Readers will stay with this character to the very end. An absorbing, thoughtful, and exciting novel. --Janet DiGianni, North Andover High School, Mass.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312374907
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publication date: 7/22/2008
  • Series: President's Daughter Series , #3
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 484,386
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Emerson White started writing about Meg Powers in The President's Daughter and continued in White House Autumn, Long Live the Queen, and Long May She Reign, available from Feiwel and Friends (Fall 2007). When she is not writing, she’s watching the Boston Red Sox. She lives in New York City.

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Read an Excerpt

Long Live the Queen

1

IT WAS ALMOST dark, but Meg kept her sunglasses on because they reminded her of skiing. Despite the fact that it was May, and she was holding a tennis racquet. Her theory had always been—when in doubt, delude oneself.

She lowered her racquet, having served the last in another series of ten balls. A gardener near the fence lifted seven fingers, and she nodded her thanks. One nice thing about living in the White House was that there was always someone around to call lines. She picked up the jug of water she kept on the baseline and drank some, studying the other side of the court. Seven out of ten. Not bad. Then again, eight would be even better. She put the jug down and reached into her ball basket.

Leaning back to serve, she noticed that everyone around the court—her Secret Service agents, National Park Service people, a couple of reporters—was standing much straighter, indicating that the President was somewhere nearby.

Meg grinned. "Is it my imagination, or is there like, a head of state behind me?" she asked without turning around.

Her mother laughed. "The serve looks good."

"I don't know, I'm trying to get more on it." Meg walked back to where her mother was standing, the number of agents—and general onlookers—having swelled considerably. "Do you feel like hitting a few?" she asked, already pretty sure of the answer.

Her mother looked down at her dress and high heels. "It would lack elegance, Meg."

Meg nodded. It had been quite a while since her mother had had enough energy to play. People were actually only supposed towear white soled shoes on the court—but, she had a sneaking suspicion that no one would have the nerve to call the President out on that one. Then, she checked the bottom of her sneakers, suddenly noticing that the soles were white, grey and black—and no one had bugged her about it, either.

"Besides," her mother said, "I expect your father and brothers are waiting for us."

Meg looked up at the sky to try and guess what time it was—not that she was exactly Nature Girl—then remembered that she had on a watch. She hated watches, but apparently hers was some kind of security thing, because the Secret Service had requested that she keep it on at all times. She had never wanted to pursue the issue further, and even though she'd been wearing it for well over a year now, she still wasn't used to it.

"High time for dinner," her mother said.

Past seven. "Yeah," Meg said, and leaned down to pick up some of her tennis balls.

Her mother bent gracefully for one as Meg scooped up six or seven, using her sweatshirt front as a sort of pouch. "Is this quality time we have going here?" she asked, dropping her balls into the yellow metal basket.

Her mother picked up another one, holding it with her index finger and thumb. "That appears to be the case, yes."

"Madam President?" one of her aides said, standing near the entrance to the courts.

Her mother sighed, handing Meg the ball. "Excuse me."

Meg watched her stride over and confer with the aide—as well as Winnie, the deputy chief of staff, who had just shown up, recognizing the Presidential expression of interested concern even from behind. Her mother sure knew how to walk. It was too dignified to be a sweep, but too fast to be stately. The influence of too damned many Katharine Hepburn movies, Meg's father had always said."Statuesque" was the word the mainstream media was inclined to use. Meg just liked to sing "Twentieth Century Fox" at her.

Her brother Steven—who was almost fourteen—either swaggered or slouched; her brother Neal—who was nine—bounced, mostly. Her father—well, he just walked. Occasionally, he hurried. Meg, personally, would either slink or slog. Sometimes, to drive her parents crazy, she and Steven would shuffle. They were big on scuffing, too.

"Pretty cool," her mother said, unexpectedly next to her again.

Meg stopped in the middle of her tennis racquet guitar solo. Morrison and the guys would have to wait. "Um, just singing."

"So I heard," her mother said.

Meg flushed and took off her sunglasses, going over to pick up the rest of her tennis balls.

When she was finished, they walked towards the White House—with the Secret Service in tow, of course—along the cement oval leading to the South Portico, passing commemorative trees like the Jimmy Carter Cedar of Lebanon and the Lyndon B. Johnson Willow Oak. Their dog, Kirby, invariably used the George W. Bush Cutleaf Silver Maple. Steven had encouraged this.

In June, there was supposed to be a ceremony during which her mother was going to plant a Japanese Tree Lilac, and Meg was hoping that it would be scheduled after school was out—mostly, so that she could have the fun of watching the President incompetently wield a shovel during the ground-breaking.

It felt as though they were walking unusually slowly, and Meg glanced over at her mother. "You look tired."

Her mother shrugged. "Busy day, that's all."

Maybe. Meg kept looking at her, noticing the slight hunch to her left side. Since—well, Meg tried to think of it as "the accident," because the phrase "assassination attempt" made her sick—anyway, even though it had been over seven months, her mother was oftenin obvious pain, and almost always exhausted. "Um, how do you feel?" Meg asked.

Her mother's posture changed, the hunch disappearing. "Fine."

Meg nodded—although she didn't buy it for a second.

"So," her mother said, gesturing back towards the tennis court. "You're certainly practicing non-stop these days."

"I don't know." Meg grinned. "Did you read Save Me the Waltz?"

Her mother smiled, too. "It's my assumption that you're hoping to play at school this fall?"

She was hoping, actually, to start signing up for a few USTA/ Mid-Atlantic junior tournaments and see if she could build a decent ranking. Yeah, she'd have to go to lower-level open tournaments first, but there seemed to be several L5 tournaments within easy driving distance every weekend, and if she won a couple of them, she could move up to—"Um, yeah," she said. "Sort of." Although her parents had been very strongly pushing her to go to Harvard, with Yale and Princeton as fallback choices—getting in to college wasn't exactly an issue for the President's daughter, even if she were a verifiable cretin—she had decided on Williams, instead. Small, very academic, surrounded by Berkshire ski resorts. Her kind of place.

The skiing, anyway.

"Did you know," her mother said conversationally, "that professional tennis players change their clothes right in the middle of the locker room?" She paused. "In front of everyone?"

As arguments went, that one wasn't bad. "Oh, you're just trying to scare me," Meg said.

Her mother shrugged. "I have it on excellent authority."

"I wouldn't worry," Meg said. "It's not like I'm good enough." She carefully didn't add a "yet," but her mother's look at her was so penetrating that she must have heard it, anyway.

"Well," her mother said, and nodded hello to the Marine guards on duty, as they went through the South Entrance.

For that matter, Meg nodded, too—but they were so busy being alert that they probably didn't notice.

She followed her mother through the Diplomatic Reception Room to the Ground Floor Corridor, which was red-carpeted, with an impressive series of arches forming the ceiling, and portraits of First Ladies on the walls. It was going to be pretty funny to have her father—who always looked uncomfortable in pictures under the best of circumstances—hanging there someday.

Her father's press secretary, Preston, was coming down the hall with a couple aides, heading towards the East Wing, and he stopped short, giving her mother a crisp salute.

Her mother smiled, and returned it. "At ease, Mr. Fielding."

"Thank you, Madam Prez." He winked at Meg. "Get that serve percentage over eighty?"

Here and there. "Almost," Meg said.

"Good going." He touched his own throat, where a green silk tie was knotted, indicating the white towel around her neck. "Sort of a fashion risk."

"Everyone in Milan is wearing these," Meg said. And most of the haute couture houses were thinking of coming on board with the style, too.

Preston laughed, continuing on his way with his assistants.

Meg watched him go. Official job aside, what he really was, was her whole family's best friend—and about as cool as it was possible to be. He and her father made an incongruous pair—Preston, the sleek, suave young black guy; her father, very traditional and WASPy. "Is he like, your favorite person in the world who isn't related to you?" she asked.

"Yes," her mother said, and stepped into the private elevator. "Going up?"

"Oh." If she were alone, Meg would definitely have taken the stairs—in lieu of more interesting enemies, she had always made apractice of fighting calories—but, with her mother being tired and all—"I mean, yeah," she said.

They rode up to the third floor—her family spent a lot of time hanging out in the solarium, which had its own small kitchenette, the biggest television in the Residence, an extensive library of music and movies out in the main corridor, and some extremely spectacular views.

Steven and Neal were on one of the couches, watching an old Simpsons episode, since they were both entirely addicted to the show—and, as it happened, Meg was pretty fond of it herself. In fact, she and her brothers wasted so much time slouching in front of reruns—and Red Sox games—that her parents found it rather unnerving, and often tried to limit their viewing time, with absolutely no success. And her father was not terribly convincing on the subject, since he was such a big Boston fan, that he had been known to do things like leave Kennedy Center events early, in order to catch the last few innings.

As a rule, Meg was more inclined to watch particular networks than specific shows—Comedy Central, The E! Network, ESPN—but, she was also secretly quite fond of the internal White House feed, which showed live speeches, press briefings, Rose Garden ceremonies, and the like, and often watched it for hours on the sly.

Her father was sitting at the big glass table where, once in a very great while, they would do unexpectedly ordinary things like play Monopoly, or have low-key meals, although her parents disapproved of eating in a room that had a television in it. But, they did make exceptions for the Academy Awards, and playoff games, and such.

"Good day at school?" her father asked.

Meg glanced up. "I'm sorry, what?"

He smiled, putting down his Sam Adams. When he wasn't being the First Gentleman, he always drank straight from the bottle. "Did you have a nice day at school?"

"Oh. Yeah. Did you?" Meg shook her head. She really had to make more of an effort to pay attention. "Have a nice day, I mean."

"Very nice," he said, smiling more.

Having said hello to Steven and Neal, her mother was standing behind her father now, her hands on his shoulders.

"Long day?" her father asked.

"Very long," her mother said. "And not over yet."

He nodded, reaching up to cover her right hand with his, and sensing that there was a hug or a kiss or something coming from that, Meg went over to sit on the couch.

"Don't you guys ever get tired of this?" she asked, indicating the television.

"Nope." Steven yawned. "Josh called and said for us to give you a big"—he made a smacking sound with his lips—"from him."

Neal laughed, making his own kissing sound.

Since she and Josh had officially been "just friends" for over a month now—and were still pretty self-conscious about the whole thing, that exact message was unlikely. "What did he really say?" Meg asked.

Steven shrugged. "Hi."

Neal made another smacking noise.

Meg looked at them, then at herself. What a motley little set of children. Three pairs of sweatpants, three pairs of irregularly tied sneakers—theirs high-top Nikes, hers Adidas Barricades, and three sweatshirts—one that said Williams, a New England Patriots one, and Neal wearing an outgrown green hoodie of Steven's. And it wouldn't kill any of them to go do a little hair-brushing.

Her mother might have been worn out, but she looked predictably elegant in her tan dress, and her hair and make-up were perfect. Her father was distinguished—but dull—in a grey suit, white Oxford shirt, and striped tie. She and Steven took after her mother: dark hair, blue eyes, very high cheekbones. Neal, like her father, had lighter brown hair, and always looked as though he wasabout to smile. She and her mother and Steven were grinners—she and Steven, somewhat more raffishly.

"Thank you," her mother was saying into the telephone. "We'll be down directly." She hung up. "Do the three of you want to go get washed up for dinner?"

"No," Neal said, and giggled.

"Hell, no," Steven said.

Their father frowned at them. "Go get washed up."

"So, wait." Meg looked from her parents to her brothers. "Am I like, the swing vote here?"

Her parents shook their heads.

When it was just the five of them, they almost always ate in the private Presidential Dining Room on the second floor. The furnishings were, so Meg was told, American Federal—which seemed to mean mahogany—and the room had the usual dramatic White House chandelier. The antique wallpaper was blue, with scenes from the American Revolution painted on it, and none of them liked it much.

"So. How was practice, Steven?" their mother asked, coming back into the room after her third low-voiced conference with aides out in the West Sitting Hall.

"Okay," he said, through a mouthful of roast beef. "I was mostly shagging, because Coach wants me to pitch on Friday."

Their father narrowed his eyes. "You went six innings yesterday."

Steven shrugged. "So, he had me taking it easy today. Can you pass me the carrots, Meg?"

Meg helped herself, then handed the dish across the table to him. The White House butlers preferred to do all of the serving themselves, but had figured out, early on, that her family was much more relaxed whenever they got the chance to be at least a little bit normal. The butlers had become extremely skilled at replenishing their food and drinks so discreetly that, most of the time, Meg almost forgot they were there.

Although no one really talked about it, her parents weren't very happy about Steven playing—the Secret Service had advised against it. After her mother had been shot, all of their security had gotten much tighter, and because tennis courts were so exposed, Meg had had to drop off the team at school. For the same reason, the Secret Service hadn't wanted Steven to play baseball—either at school, or in his league, but he had gotten so upset that her parents had finally had to allow it. Much to Meg's relief, their security in general had relaxed a little in the last few months, going back to its pre-shooting level. Which, God knows, was intense enough. She had no intention of permanently giving up competitive tennis, but she wasn't looking forward to the discussion about it with her parents. They were beginning to drop not-so-subtle hints, but so far, she had mostly managed to avoid the subject—and predictable confrontation.

"Your mother asked you a question," her father said, sounding amused.

"She did?" Meg looked at her mother. "You did?"

Her mother grinned. "I did."

"Oh." Meg shook her head. "I'm sorry, I'm just—I mean, lately—I don't know."

"It's called senioritis," her father said.

Or post-AP-exams exhaustion. No doubt, the DSM would soon recognize PAEE as a legitimate phenomenon—and high-strung students everywhere would be overmedicated accordingly.

"No way," Steven said. "She's always been like this."

Neal laughed. "Always."

"Yeah, well," Meg served herself quite a large baked potato, "wait until I go away to school. You guys'll be like, crying all the time, because you miss me so much."

"No way," Steven said. "We'll have parties every day."

"Wakes, more likely." Her cat, Vanessa, had come in to sit behind her chair, and Meg slipped her a piece of roast beef, her fatherlifting his eyebrows at her. "I mean," she straightened up, "you won't have anyone to tell you swell jokes, or help keep the country running smoothly, or explain words you don't understand—"

Her parents laughed.

"Yeah," Steven said. "And all the flies and bugs that follow you around'll leave."

Meg nodded. "Well, of course they're coming with me. I wouldn't go anywhere without—"

"One bad thing," Steven said, grabbing the salt shaker out from underneath Neal's hand. "We won't be able to get any good drugs anymore."

"Told you you'd miss me," Meg said.

"Well, goodness knows I'll miss the dinner repartee." Their mother nodded her thanks as Felix, one of the butlers, poured fresh coffee into her cup. "Meg, have you gotten any further in your thoughts about what to wear to the Prom?"

To which, yeah, she and Josh were still going. As—pals. Chums. Compatriots. "I'm going to make something out of my curtains," Meg said, managing—just barely—not to laugh at her own humor. The clothes-making scenes in Gone with the Wind and The Sound of Music were probably her two favorite movie jokes ever. And the time Carol Burnett wore the curtain dress with the rod still in it.

"Is that a no?" her mother asked.

Oh, the President was quick. Very quick. "Yeah," Meg said. "It's a no."

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN. Copyright © 2008 by Ellen Emerson White. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. For information, address Feiwel and Friends, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Long Live the Queen

    Meg's family has faced some pretty rocky times in the last couple of years. Her mother, now Madame President Powers, is still recovering from an shocking attack (albeit out of the public eye) and Meg's family seems to now be, not-surprisingly, closer and more tight-knit than ever. Meg's biggest worry is finishing up her senior year while trying to avoid the ever-present reporters who follow her families' every move when the unthinkable happens: Meg is brutally kidnapped by terrorists and forced to endure more than she ever imagined. Meg isn't sure why she was taken or even where, but she knows the terrorists have no plans to let her live. Which quickly becomes her only goal.

    Meg goes through some truly horrific stuff in this novel. She's beaten down and left so physically and emotionally scarred, she knows her life will never be the same again. Unexpectedly, I found myself repeatedly in tears while reading because I had unknowingly become so dang attached to Meg, I understand why some scenarios were more painful than others. Ellen Emerson White knew she couldn't start off the series with a story like this, but since she's built up a character (Meg) supported by incredible secondary characters with such believable interactions that I was completely drawn into this story. I could feel and understand every single person's pain because I'd been with them all for so long, I just got it.

    So if I thought White House Autumn was taking a risk dealing with a presidential attack, then Long Live the Queen has to take some kind of award for even daring to discuss a teen who is taken hostage by terrorists. I do have one thing to say about Ellen Emerson White, that woman is fearless. Fiercely fearless. She doesn't shy away from any of the tough questions or the questionable emotions, she faces each dead-on with a calm and precise determination. Terrorists, kidnapping, Vietnam - I mean is there anything this woman can't do - and do well?

    For this third installment, I find it noteworthy that the artwork was chosen to mimic James McNeill Whistler's classic painting Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist's Mother. I can't fault their taste - there is something inherently classic about Whistler's work, I totally dig it. Of course it is tongue in cheek with the hanging picture of the White House in the background and it definitely allows you to see the bright blue leg and hand brace Meg is now sporting. As for the Queen herself, Meg's attitude seems to be almost passive, which after reading this novel, I can assure you is anything but, which is a none too subtle reminder that Meg is under constant scrutiny all the time and that even when she's feeling wretched and depressed, she's still putting on her 'public' face and doing what she has to.
    seemichelleread.blogspot.com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2001

    A solid read

    I finally found this book in my local library and was thrilled to finish reading about Meg and her family. She is a delightful character who made me laugh and cry during this story. I was thrilled to see on Ms. White's web page that these books are to be re-released this year. Soon I can own a copy of this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2001

    This was a GREAT book!! It's gripping and hard to put down once you start reading it!

    It's about a senior in high school who's mother is president of the U.S. She's kidnapped by terrorists and injured badly both physically and mentally.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2001

    Ellen Emerson White- A Great Writer

    Ellen Emerson White has presented a thrilling and emotional book- Long Live The Queen. I read this book, and absolutly loved it. I wish that there are more books written by Ellen White, because they are so enjoyable. When I read Long Live The Queen, I could not put the book down. I reccommend reading this book as soon as possible!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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