Dear Mrs Naylor, I have just finished “Now I’ll Tell you Everything”. I first read “lovingly Alice” when I was going to buffalo New York on a plane in the fifth grade. I had just picked up a few Alice books at the library the day before. The plane was delayed because of a snowstorm, and then canceled. I had an extra six hours to spare because the next flight that we might be able to Catch was leaving in seven. I was in a hard plastic chair, engrossed in the details of periods, (this was a new phenomenon my mother had just explained to me) sex, oatmeal dying,( my cat had feline leukemia and had died) and Donald Sheavers. I then rapidly progressed up to Alice on the Outside in sixth grade, and then more. I knew get to say that in a way, Alice saved my life. I have always struggled with depression, and it got particularly bad in seventh grade, where I was having suicidal thoughts, and vicious panic attacks. But everything that I was dealing with, so had Alice and one of her friends. And I think that that is what kept me afloat. Knowing that I am not alone, and someone, even if fiction, understands what I was going through. Thank you for being there.
I very much appreciate your letter. Alice fans have “been there” for me a lot too, even though you didn’t know it. When I had spinal surgery several years ago, there was always the thought that I may not be able to write the last few books, but every day I received letters telling me how much readers loved them, and this cheered me up and gave me confidence. And then my husband died, and though it was not unexpected, it was a very sad time for me and my family, and some days, all I wanted to do was to read your emails. It’s good to remember that no matter what thoughts we have–however awful or disgusting or terrifying–they aren’t unique to us: others have had them too, and that there is a world of difference between thinking about something and actually doing it. One of the truths I’ve discovered about life is that talking about something really helps take the sting out of it. It may not solve a thing, but it helps get the anger or the hurt or the humiliation out, where we can examine it in the light of day. The longer it’s inside, the more it hurts. I feel sure that your letter will be a comfort to someone else.