An unknown friend gave me “Alice In Rapture” for my birthday about 3rd grade and it sat on my shelf for a while before I read it and met Alice when I was about 10.  Alice was a little bit older than me at the time and I remember the idea of a boyfriend and a first date and a first kiss was a completely foreign concept to me, and I remember how it made me feel when Crystal taught Alice how to blow out her curls and when Alice asked questions at the dinner table that I would never dream of asking at mine, yet receiving an honest, decent answer.  I loved the relationship between Alice and Lester because I have an older brother too and understand how it is a little sister’s God-given right to annoy the crap out of her older brother because they’ll still love each other anyway.

I rediscovered the series in college at the library and was excited to see you had written many books since then and threw myself in head first and read as much as I could.

Shortly thereafter I met the love of my life, several years went by, we got married, and had a baby before I remembered Alice, who had become like an old friend to me.  My awesome husband bought me all the books which I now own, and hope to share with the next generation.  I started buying each new book as you published them and remembered how pleasantly slowly Alice seemed to grow up as my own life seemed to be racing by like a bullet (growing 1 semester or summer for every 1 year of mine.)  And as I read “Now I’ll Tell You Everything” in the last two days, a woman of age 33 with a 4 1/2 year old son, my head spun as I watched Alice grow older than me for the first time since I read about Alice and Patrick’s first summer back in 1990.  I cried at Alice and Patrick’s wedding, (though I honestly thought she was going to marry Dave and your point would be that you didn’t need history and sometimes childhood sweethearts don’t work out.  And it’s all okay,) I laughed at Lester’s reaction when Alice called him when she was in labor, and I cried when they lost Ben.  And as I look back at how my own life has been turning out, I realized how appropriate it is, whether you meant it this way or not, that Alice’s life suddenly goes lightning speed, exponentially faster and faster the moment she leaves for college. Is that how it’s happened for you?

There are so many nuggets of wisdom you’ve so eloquently woven into these books, and there was always something useful that applied to something I was going through. Thank you for this. I know you have changed many lives, had a hand in raising thousands, millions of children and many more to come as we all forge our paths through our lives.  Thank you so much for bravely laying all these raw, honest emotions bare that people don’t usually talk about, and sharing with the world.

Thank you for telling us everything.

Phyllis replied:
What a wonderful letter!  Thank you so much.  I don’t know that life moved any faster since college.  I remember how everyone told me to enjoy my boys when they were young because it all goes by so fast.  And I distinctly remember one night, sitting on the couch with a little boy snuggled on either side of me as I read to them, that I was thinking, “I’m enjoying just as much as I can!  I don’t know how to enjoy any harder!”  And now you have a little boy of your own!

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