I wish I could one day thank you in person, but I’m afraid I’m living too far away.
Nevertheless, the fact that I’m living in Switzerland has never stopped me from reading your Alice books.
I think I started reading the Alice books in German when I was 10 or 11 years old. I found the books in our school library after a friend suggested me them.
I can’t describe you how much they ment to me. I was a little, naive, shy girl. My best friend had just moved to Spain that year, and I had a lot of difficulties making new good friends because I always had the feeling that every one else has already found her best friend except that mine was more than 1000 miles away.
I think at that time probabely I started dreaming about another world, another life, a life in America. I was very fascinated about the US and my biggest dream was to go to the US one day. I started dreaming about how my day, my friends, my school, my family’s house would look like. The Alice books helped me a lot imagining this world I created in my mind. I imagined friends like Alice, Pam and Liz, a boyfriend like Patrick. I even imagined Alice being my sister or my best friend and telling me all the stories I was reading about her. I’ve really become very close with Alice and when she didn’t feel good in the book, I was automatically crying, especially all the moments she remebers her mum, or when Patrick broke up. It was as if I could feel what she was going through.
Soon I went to Junior High and High School, and there in the libraries, there were no books about Alice anymore. So, I went every day after school for 20 minutes in every book store we have in town and read the new books because I couldn’t afford to buy all of them. This is how I succeeded to read all the books until the 13., I think.
Then I didn’t stop reading them because I didn’t like them anymore or because I was becoming much older than Alice. But I stopped reading them because whenever I would take one book I’ve already read a few times, I started crying. I started crying because I was so sad that in reality I wasn’t a part of this world and because I remembered the time I first read it and at that time I was dreaming about it becoming true one day to me or to my children but as I’ve grown up I realised it was just fiction. And I just couldn’t deal with it that one day, you’ll write the last book and there would be no Alice anymore. It thought it would feel as if a person died I really cared about.
I know I’m pretty sentimental 😦 . But aren’t the best stories the ones that make you cry? I know one day when I become a bit braver I’ll read the remaining books too, and when I become even more braver I’ll reread all the books. Today, I just wanted to thank you for giving and making Alice alive to us. I’ve learnd so much from her. I’ve never had a boyfriend and I never talked about sex to anyone, so Alice was like my big, little sister.
And I’ve learned so much about the American culture and lifestyle, too. I still can’t believe that last Christmas I was visiting a friend of mine in Florida. My dream really came true!! Thank you, thank you for giving me the strenght not to loose faith through your books!! I still imagine myself becoming a mother and living somewhere in Maryland, and my kids going to school there and speaking English all day. But whatever future brings along, I am sure I’ll read the Alice books with my daughters.
a Croatian girl (19) from Switzerland
I’m sure that our readers are interested to know what those in other countries think of Alice and of America. Not all places in America are like Alice’s neighborhood, however, and not all girls are like Alice. But I’m so glad that you found a friend in the books, and that you were able to visit at least one state. It’s wonderful that the books have meant so much to you over the years. When the last Alice book is published in 2013, you’ll have a lot of information about Alice to think about for a long time. Thank you for writing.