This is the third and final book in the President's Daughter series (it is the sequel to the President's Daugher and White House Autumn). In this book, Meg and her family continue to deal with the pressures of being the First Family of the United States. In particular, Meg and her brothers are experiencing problems with their Secret Service Agents. While her younger brother Steven just chafes at having them around all the time, Meg feels particularly uncomfortable around one of her agents, who seems over-protective of her. While her boyfriend urges her to tell her parents and get another Secret Service agent, Meg just decides to wait until the agent is rotated out.
Then one day as Meg is leaving school, a van pulls up and masked men jump out, shooting at her Secret Service agents and kidnapping Meg. She is taken to an unknown location, where she is kept handcuffed to her bed in a windowless room. She is not fed, and barely given enough water to be kept alive. Her only contact is with one of her kidnappers, a cruel, cynical man who beats Meg when she tries to escape. Despite his cruelty, he is excepionally intelligent and even funny at times, and Meg is disturbed to find that part of her actually likes this man who has kidnapped and tortured her.
Then suddenly, without warning, the man transfers Meg to an abandoned mine shaft. She is chained in and left alone with no food or water and no way to get out. Only by breaking her own hand can Meg get out, and then she faces the grueling task of dragging herself through miles of wilderness and forest in search of help. She is constantly in pain from her injuries as a result of being tortured, and she is acutely afraid that she will be found and recaptured by her kidnappers.
She finally stumbles across a house, and is taken to a hospital, and then home to the White House. Unfortunately, this is not the end of her struggle. Meg must still come to grips with the fact that she has been seriously injured and that she is still afraid much of the time. The kidnapping also causes her ever-present conflicts with her mother to flare up, since Meg's kidnapping was at the hands of a terrorist group who wanted to use Meg as leverage to influence her mother, the President. Although the plot remains somewhat unresolved, Meg is able to make great strides forward at the end by deciding that she wants to live as normal a life as possible and not let her injuries or her fear keep her from attending college as she had planned. She also asks to hold a press conference so she can tell her side of the story to the media.
This report prepared by Heather B.