“Do you know what I did today, Alessandra?”
“No, Mother.” Fourteen-year-old Alessandra set her book bag on the floor by the front door and walked past her mother to the sink, where she poured herself a glass of water.
“Got the electricity turned back on?”
“The elves would not speak to me,” said Mother. It had once been funny, this game that electricity came from elves. But it wasn't funny now, in the sweltering Adriatic summer, with no refrigeration for the food, no air conditioning, and no vids to distract her from the heat.
“Then I don't know what you did, Mother.”
“I changed our lives,” said Mother. “I created a future for us.”
Alessandra froze in place and uttered a silent prayer. She had long since given up hope that any of her prayers would be answered, but she figured each unanswered prayer would add to the list of grievances she would take up with God, should the occasion arise.
– Ender in Exile, p. 74, hb