The Perfect Ending


24 years old, graduated from college with an English degree, working in a library, and married for a year, I feel as if I officially became an adult today when I finished Now I’ll Tell You Everything. I read and read for as long as I could last night, until 4am, after getting a late start. I had to keep reading until I was sure Alice married Patrick. Then I went to sleep content, but still woke up early today, eager to see what else was in store for Alice.

I read The Agony of Alice in my 6th grade reading class. I was 11 years old, and my teacher was both my Miss Cole and my Mrs. Plotkin. Beautiful and exciting, but also kind and smart. Alice became my best friend immediately. We wrote diaries in class, pretending to be Alice. An entry for every chapter and I still have mine on a shelf in my old bedroom. My teacher and I grew close and she gave me dozens of books to read throughout the years, always racing to see who could finish the new Alice book first. She became my godmother and both Alice McKinley and Anne of Green Gables are our favorite characters.

Sure, I grew up with Harry Potter too, and I was quite sad when that ended. And I even liked the Twilight series (though I was pretty much the ONLY English major in college who did) But there’s something really special about Alice. She’s just like me. There’s no magic, no paranormal romance, she’s just an average girl who is so easy to relate to. Have you noticed that there just aren’t that many books like that anymore? I have waited for, and dreaded, the final book for 13 years now. It was very difficult for me to read the last chapter. I am far too sentimental. As soon as I read the chapter title, I began to cry and had to keep wiping my eyes as I finished the book. The tears only became stronger when Alice’s dad passed away. But the way the book ended…with Alice sitting down to write her very own books…it was just perfect! I came downstairs crying and both my husband and my mother hugged me and said they were so sorry it had a sad ending. I had to explain that it had the perfect ending! I was just feeling so bittersweet!

(I did notice one continuity blooper, I think. Uncle Milt and Aunt Sally couldn’t attend Lester’s wedding because Milt wasn’t feeling well. But for Christmas, the books says Alice gave Sally a framed picture of Sally, Milt, and Carol taken at Les’s wedding. I’m sure I’m not the first one to point it out, but just in case!)

Ever since I was young, I have checked your website frequently in hopes that you would do a book signing around Houston, Tx. I still hold out hope that you will someday. I’m not much of a talker in real life, only on paper, but I would so love to meet you, shake your hand, and maybe snap a picture with my favorite author someday. I can’t tell you what a joy and comfort Alice has been to me all these years. I know I’m well past the 7th grade like Alice’s class when they made the time capsule, but I’ve decided to sit and write myself a letter, to be opened when I’m 60, and tuck it in my copy of Now I’ll Tell You Everything for safekeeping. Alice will still be my old pal then, I am sure of it.

Thank you so much. From the bottom of my heart.

Phyllis replied:
I can tell that the Alice books have meant a great deal to you, and this makes them all worthwhile to me.

I’m just delighted that you felt the last book had the perfect ending, and am so grateful you shared this with me.  No, not a single person caught that blooper so far, and not only I, but my editor and copy-editor didn’t catch it either!

Leave a comment

Filed under Fan Mail

Comments are closed.