Letter from Germany


I don’t know if you’ll ever receive or read this email, but I just must write you about how much your Alice-books mean to me. I’m from Germany and got my first Alice-book (starting with Alice) when I was 9 or 10 years old. I remember that I didn’t want to read it in the beginning because I was more into science-fiction and the book cover seemed kind of girlish. But a few months later I started reading your books – and I just couldn’t get enough! I lent all the books I didn’t have from family’s friends and asked for them as birthday and christmas gifts. Whenever I finished all the books I had, I read something else for a couple of months just to get back to Alice and read her story all over again.

At some point, your novels were not translated anymore. I was so upset about that. Alice was so much… well, me! While reading about her I felt like I was looking at a reflection of myself, even though of course we still had our differences. But she taught me so much about life, about love, about other people, about being kind and forgiving, and and and. I always tried to imagine what could’ve happened after her breakup with Patrick and Sam, and for a few years I just accepted that I had to get creative on that.

But then, a couple of months ago (I am 20 now), I started reading the series again and thought to myself “maybe there are more books and they just weren’t published in Germany anymore.” So I went online and – hurray – I found like 16 more books that I’d missed out on. And while I ordered all the books via amazon, I couldn’t stop crying because I felt like I had found an old treasure or something – it was crazy. Since I was 10 years old I looked up to Alice and grew up with her, and now, FINALLY, I could catch up with her again.

And now here I sit, right after finishing your very last book of Alice. I cried my eyes out. Even before reading this book I was so scared because Alice had always been the girl I’d grown up with. It even felt, crazy as it sounds, as though she was one of my closest friends, giving me advice and comfort, and making me feel like I wasn’t alone with the little and big problems we all had when we were in that age. And now, all of the sudden, she was supposed to be 60?! But of course, I had to read it anyway. I’m so happy and so sad at the same time. There’s nothing I can really say but thank you for giving me Alice. Thank you so much. You’ve definitely influenced and inspired me in many, many ways, and I feel like they are all positive. I’ll keep these books forever, giving them to my kids when I am a real grown-up (even though I already am, but with Alice I’ll always feel like a child I guess). Every human should have an Alice-book in their shelves. Everyone should carry at least a piece of Alice in him/her. Even my boyfriend does now, never reading the books but always listening to me when I talk about the girl I can und will always compare to so well. Virtual hugs from Germany. Always Alice.

Phyllis replied:
I shared your long email with my editor, and it brought tears to her eyes as it did to mine.  There are a number of countries which published only the first six or so Alice books and then, as Alice begins to mature sexually, they stopped.  And not all readers realized that there might be more.  I’m so glad that you found Alice, and that she, obviously, found her way into your heart.  (We get very sentimental  where Alice and her family are concerned).  I think that writing the Alice series was comforting to me as well–working through some of the problems and feelings I had as a young girl, and teen, and working girl and mother–sort of reliving them all and wishing I had done a better job here and there, but giving myself credit when I did well.  Thank you for taking time from your own busy life to write to me.
Posted on: September 14, 2016


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