Six months ago Meg was kidnapped by terrorists who made sure she understood that she would never leave them alive. Over the course of thirteen days, they shattered her knee, deprived her of food and water and then left her to die chained up in an old mine shaft. Unable to face such a fate, Meg smashed the bones in her hand in order to slide out of the handcuff and then stumbled through the woods until she found people who could call in the cavalry. After being rescued, Meg still has a long road ahead of her: numerous operations and grueling physical therapy not to mention dealing with the fallout over her mother's (the President) controversial statement: "can not, have not, and will not negotiate with terrorists." Yeah, that's her daughter she's talking about. Comforting huh? Meg finds she's in serious trouble of never coming out of her depression while living scared at the White House and so persuades her parents to let her attend Williams College even though she is far from being well enough to go.
At Williams, Meg is more on her own than ever before and constantly feels like she is the brunt of her classmates disdain. Slowly she begins to make friends (more because people bully her into it) with her hall adviser Susan and even begins a rocky relationship with Jack aka Malibu Bobby (say it with a Boston accent - it gets funnier every time). Setbacks happen but Meg is her old determined self and refuses to give up.
Can we talk about Preston for a moment here? I find him absolutely irresistible so would love to talk about him for hours. Preston is Meg's father's press secretary and basically the best friend of the entire family. The man is smart and funny, knows how to rock a suit, and is so loving and caring that frankly, my heart just melts a little every time he speaks. He becomes one of the only people, excepting Beth (her best friend since kindergarten), who Meg can truly open up to and get straight answers from in return.
Ellen Emerson White surely knows how to take her time. She doesn't rush a character into situations or confrontations that are too premature, she gives them time to simply be, allowing for a incredibly natural and realistic progression of events. And with Long May She Reign weighing in at 700+ pages, I felt like I got my money's worth and then some. That's not to say I wouldn't welcome another 1,000 pages or so - I'd read them in a heartbeat.
I have no idea how EEW could have waited twenty odd years to finish Meg's story. Twenty Years!! If I had read these books prior to this last one coming out I think I would have died not knowing what happened to Meg. So much is left unanswered in Long Live the Queen that is so beautifully explained in Long May She Reign that I just can't comprehend her waiting so long to put it on paper.
I find it interesting that two of the four cover art pieces are nods to very, very well-known works: essentially the Dutch Mona Lisa (or Girl with a Pearl Earring) and the actual Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. I feel like this could be a reference to the fact that Meg herself has become a household name, just like these paintings. This cover is just so Meg: the Williams sweater, dark Oakleys, and the blue hand-brace - although she looks a little more filled out than my vision of a too-depressed-to-eat Meg.
series reading order:
~ The President's Daughter - my review
~ White House Autumn - my review
~ Love Live the Queen - my review
~ Long May She Reign