Comments from Germany

Hello Mrs. Naylor (I’m sorry if this isn’t how you begin such an e-mail in English!),
I just wanted to thank you so much for writing all the Alice-books. They really seem to be so real, as if Alice really exists in this world that I don’t ever want to finish reading them! 
I’m very glad I can understand every single sentence even in English, because only The Agony of Alice to Simply Alice are translated into German, the language I grow up with. I’ve been reading “It’s not like I planned it this way” since a week or so and now I’m quite near the end.       🙂  and  😦  at the same time!
Reading your books gave me a great chance to see how life for an “average” american teenager can be: (junior) high school, grades, courses, extracurriculars, part-time jobs, family, etc. and I also learnt (learned?) a lot of words just by reading them again and again (e.g. intercourse, to have some catching up to do, waist, to be engaged, porch, …). Thank you!!! 
But why did you make Alice think of engagements and marriages so often? I mean, why does she always seem to expect a couple getting engaged when they have been dating each other for only a year? They can definitely live together without having a wedding, can’t they!?
Still, I love being kind of part of Alice’s life, at least knowing what’s going on with her and her friends.
Phyllis replied:
It’s always good to hear from fans in other countries–to find out what words are new to  you, how are customs and cultures differ and how they are the same.   Of course couples can live together without being married, but that is more acceptable to a more general culture than it is to traditional Americans.  I think Alice’s focus on marriage–most particularly on hoping her father finds a wife and wondering if Lester ever will is that she grew up without a mother.  This makes her especially anxious to have a new one, and–being the only girl in the family–she’d love for Lester to marry just so she could have a big sister.  I’m glad you were able to find “It’s Not Like I Planned it This Way,” and hope that you will also find “I Like Him, He Likes Her,” and “Please Don’t Be True.”

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