FULLY CAUGHT UP WITH ALICE

Question:
 
Dear Ms. Reynolds Naylor,
  Hello from a friend who hasn’t written in quite a few years.   But I will never leave Alice behind. I strayed for a few years with the chaos of the transition into independence and college life, but as of twenty minutes ago, I am fully caught up with Alice and waiting more impatiently than ever before, over the last twelve or more years of my reading Alice, to devour that last book. It brings a certain sadness that I will only have the opportunity to read a new Alice book for the first time once more in my life; this series has meant SO much to me, and aided who I once was–a clueless young girl–into a confident, more stable young woman with some direction in her life–but still, of course, a great deal to learn.
  But talking to you was just as fundamental to my coming into being a near-adult. I hate to think of myself as that; there are aspects of childhood that my sugar-coating memory holds dear, and that feeling of excitement and innocence can only resurface when I’m reading your books, and I remember how I felt the first time I read them. I know that I have fallen out of touch with you before, during some of the dark periods of my life, which now measures at just 20 years, but I am determined never to let this happen again. I just wanted you to know how much your work has meant to me, all these years; Alice has, in some ways, shaped the way I perceive and approach the world, and I will always carry her inside of me as my life goes on. On a personal note, I recently learned that your dear husband Rex had passed away, and I wanted to extend my deepest condolences about what must be an incredibly painful loss, albeit belatedly.
   I hope that this email gives you just the slightest fraction of the pleasure and nostalgia that your work has been bringing me lately–and for most of my life. I am so grateful for what you have given the world through your literature. You are truly a remarkable person, and you deserve the utmost satisfaction and happiness.
   All the best regards, and hoping to hear from you soon–and oh, why not–Love,
 
Phyllis replied:
 
You can’t possibly know how great it is to hear from “long-ago readers” and current readers and people at all stages of reading the Alice series.  I especially appreciate the time you took to write a long email to me, and you will see that I cut a great deal out, mostly because it would be so easy for friends and classmates to identify you, and I try to keep readers’ letters private, even the very nice ones, like yours.
Yes, I miss Rex very much, as he was always the first one to read the Alice books, and he loved the conversations between Alice and her brother.  I wish you every success in what appears to be a most creative and wonderful career, and thank you again for your email.

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