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,
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.