Leaving Childhood Behind

Question:

I hope your summer is going well. I just wanted to write to you really quickly
to let you know that the Alice series has meant a great deal in my life. I’m
sure you receive letters all the time, but as a fellow writer I know it
personally never gets old for me to hear that my writing has affected someone in
any way shape or form. 

When I was twelve years old, my friend happened to be reading a book called
Alice in Blunderland at a rehersal for a play we were in. We were all very close
castmates and would read each others books/eat each others food/use each others
phones all the time backstage. Attracted by the funny title, I picked it up and
started to read. When she got off stage I told her not only was I borrowing the
book but I demanded to borrow any other books in the series she had as well. 

I am now a 19 year old college student. I have been there with Alice through the
ups and downs. Friends have come and gone from my life–including that friend,
who was once very, very dear to me–and I have hit highs and lows. I’m a
completely different person than I was when I was twelve, but Alice has been a
major constant for me. I remember reading the Grooming of Alice the summer
before eighth grade, tanning at the pool. I remember reading Dangerously Alice
on a vacation my family took to Florida. Every Alice book holds a memory for
me. 

I left my hometown of Madison, WI this summer for an internship in Washington,
DC. I was completely overwhelmed by my new job and having all sorts of difficult
feelings about my future and who I was meant to be. When I saw the latest Alice
book in Barnes and Noble, I of course snatched it up immediately. I cried during
the book as Alice discussed feelings of sadness–she was literally leaving her
childhood behind, as am I at this very moment. 

Alice McKinley is like one of my best friends, as insane as that may sound. When
the series is over in 2013, the year I graduate college, I will be devastated,
but similar to what Alice learns in Incredibly Alice, we all have to grow up and
leave the past behind at some point in our lives. 

I just needed to let you know that the Alice series has meant more to me than
you could ever know. Thank you so, so much for pouring your heart into Alice for
so many years.

 

Phyllis replied:

 

I was so touched by your letter, and am so happy to know that Alice has been a friend to you all these years.  The year you graduate from college, Alice graduates also, (and does so many more things, as it covers the her years from 18 to 60).  I have the feeling you will like the last book too, Always Alice, and will understand her choices.  It’s wonderful to hear from readers like you.

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