Ellen Emerson White is a relatively new discovery for me. I begin with her incomparable The Road Home and have quickly done whatever I could to get my hands on her other books, knowing if they were half as good as The Road Home, they would be well worth my time. And I was right. I always like it when that happens.
Meg Powers is a regular teenager - she plays tennis, fights with her parents, tries to navigate a hormone-driven high school, and gives her young brothers all the trouble she can. Meg does have a couple of things that set her apart from your average teen however - for one, she's smart with a biting wit and two, her mother, a career politician, has just decided to run for president. Not PTA president, mind you, but Leader of the Free World President president. Going with this not competely unexpected decision, Meg and her family must face the realities of campaigning on such a large scale. They must first endure the endless agony of the primaries nationwide, then the pageantry of the Democratic Convention, and if all goes well, eventually leading up to the Presidential election, that is, if her mom's lucky to even get that far.
Even though Meg is extremely smart, sometimes so much so that I forget she's only a teenager, she still experiences the all-too natural desire to not attract attention to herself (an instinct ingrained in all teens of course) which becomes basically impossible with all the media coverage, teachers asking for her mother's stance on education, and never knowing if guys are asking her out for herself or becuase her mother is famous. Through it all, she and especially her brothers keep a constant run of banter and sarcastic remarks running throughout - often tempering the many emotional scenes with levity leaving you with a sense that humor is the only thing keeping the Powers family sane.
The Powers family has an awesome dynamic. They are all incredibly smart and each loves nothing better than to crack a joke or pop off some smart aleck response. Meg and her mother are so much alike - but in exceedingly different ways. Meg feels that since her mother might become the first female president and she is the eldest child, there is even more pressure to be as elegant and intelligent as her mom - talk about your pressure.
I absolutely adore the new covers for the re-release of this series - each is a perfect representation of the emotions Meg experiences. This particular design is an homage to Andrew Wyeth's celebrated painting Christina's World. This choice was spot-on for capturing Meg's feeling of desperation and isolation. She has no choice but to follow her mother in perusing the presidency - no matter the cost to their family or herself. Not without hope however, Wyeth (and likewise Meg) depicts Christina facing her difficulties face-first, without any hesitation and ready to get down to business.
series reading order:
~ The President's Daughter
~ White House Autumn
~ Love Live the Queen
~ Long May She Reign