Catching up with Alice [SPOILER ALERT]

Comment:

Wow, it’s been almost 3 years since I wrote my first email to you. Back then I was 11 and I guess I’m still not that old, but I’m in high school now! It’s mind blowing how much I’ve changed, both physically and emotionally. I’ve read tons of books throughout the years, disliked some and loved some, but somehow I always come back to Alice. I think the impact is just too much to ever shake off.

I love emailing you. I just absolutely love it. I love checking your website to see that you’ve responded to my email.  Last year it totally slipped my mind and I’m back this year haha. But enough about me, time to get into my adoration for Alice:

I first saw Alice when I was 8, maybe. So 6 years ago. I was in the public library with my sisters and brother browsing for some new books to read. I’m pretty sure it was “Alice in Rapture, Sort of” that I saw. I remember that the cover was of Alice in a cute little bikini and Patrick with his soft and beachy but also fiery red hair. I was into romance (and still am) so I decided to give it a try. It was the book where Alice and Patrick kissed on her porch, I think and I remember Alice going inside and seeing Patrick pop a mint in his mouth. Anyway, I remember that it was summer and I was laying on my back reading it. I was on my old kiddie-ish bed that my sister still sleeps on to this day. I remember (this may sound weird to some) smelling the worn-out, yellow-ish pages and thinking, “Gosh this book is so dirty.” Six years later, I love that smell. I associate it with Alice, and that’s why it brings me simultaneous nostalgia and bittersweet happiness. I wish I went to the library more. I miss that smell.

After returning the book, I forgot about Alice. Yes, I’m extremely ashamed but I forgot about her. Then, a couple years later (maybe when I was 11 or 12), I rediscovered Alice. I wish I remembered how but I don’t. So I bought the first couple of books, pretty sure that this was the book from my past. I was so elated when I figured it out! I’m pretty sure I was screaming and jumping up and down.

Form that day forward I was totally obsessed with the series. I bought all the books, maybe 3 or 4 at a time on Amazon and read them as quickly as I could. My goal was to finish in time for when the last book came out. I completed my goal and the book completely surpassed my expectations. I just pulled it out maybe an hour ago, read a few pages and had to email you. I love rereading all the books, but “Now I’ll Tell You Everything” especially. It documents so much of her life that I feel like I’m reading the span of 10 typical Alice books, all neatly packaged in one.

The cover of “Now I’ll Tell You Everything” is amazing. I feel like all these years, I thought of Alice as almost an imaginary friend, even though I read about all her crazy life experiences. When I saw her, everything solidified. I could finally place a face to one of my favorite people of all time. I have a question: Did you approve of the model for the cover? Did you choose her, or did you never meet her? I feel like the model has such big shoes to fill as Alice.

Alice is such a genuinely good person. Sure, she fumbled sometimes, but her intentions were always kind. I knew that if any of her loved ones were going through a rough time, she would be there for them. Like when Pamela got pregnant, Alice and Elizabeth stood by her side, especially after she miscarried. They knew when to draw boundaries and not get too personal, but also when Pamela needed guidance.

Pamela and Elizabeth are such spectacular characters. They may seem normal to some readers, but they’re special because they represent all the girls and boys out there who are like them: some are shy and quiet, and some are outgoing and charismatic. And then there’s some who are in between, like Alice. Lester and Ben (Alice’s dad) were so awesome. Even as they aged and progressed through their lives, they made sure to be there for Alice. Despite the age difference, Alice and Lester formed such a strong bond throughout the series. When Stacy got pregnant with Lester’s triplets, I was so happy. He has such a paternal feel to him, even if he is reckless and lets loose from time to time. Those 3 babies deserve what Alice got: silly and sarcastic advice.

I’m not too sure why I decided to email you again. You already know that your readers love you as well as Alice, but you deserve to hear it infinity times.Random question: Who are some of your favorite artists? By that I mean music. And favorite TV shows? Did you ever watch Gilmore Girls? God, I love that show.

This is a weird ending, but despite its peculiarity please know that you have impacted my life in a very profound way. Alice will always burn on in my heart.

Phyllis replied:

You had a lot of catching up to do, didn’t you, and I’m so glad you followed Alice through the final book.  Thank you for taking the time to write your long email.  You might find my website interesting, http://www.phyllisnaylor.com but to answer a few of your questions, I’m primarily interested in classical music, folk music, and Dixieland, so I loved The Weavers, and Simon and Garfunkel.  I don’t think I’ve watched The Gilmore Girls, but I love series, such as Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, The Good Wife, House of Cards….  Yes, I approved the cover of Now I’ll Tell You Everything, but I didn’t meet the model.  The publisher chose her.  I think most readers have their own version of what  Alice looked like over the years.  I’m so glad that everything came together for you in the final book.

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