Publication date: November 25th 2016 (First published 1880)
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Read Date: August 28th 2018
Genre: Children’s Fiction / Classic
Heidi was a beautiful classic a story of 5-yrs-old young orphan girl, Heidi, who comes to live on Swiss mountain with her grandfather and fall in love with the place, old hut and her new neighbors. It’s a coming of age story about family love, friendship, country life, faith in God, and magic of mountain air that can cure mind and body of kids and adults alike.
Heidi was a thoughtful, good hearted, lively and an apt child who instantly won my heart. She was such an innocent soul who loved mountains, goats, nature and appreciated what little she had hat in her beloved grandfather’s hut. I so adored her for her selflessness and her eagerness to help all who needed it. Her development in the book was gradual and I liked the way she turned out by the end of the book. There was so much to learn from this little girl and the book itself.
Uncle Alp was amazing grandfather that every child wish to have. His old eyes had seen and suffered lot before Heidi and when she entered his life she changed this old man awe-inspiringly. I liked his development in the third part of the book.
Member of Sesemann household were colorful. Grandmamma was my favorite of all who taught many good things Heidi. She was wise old woman who knew her ways to children’s heart and soul. Her lifelong lessons stayed with Heidi till the end of the book. Peter, the goatherd was hungriest boy I ever seen. I bet, he would do anything for food. He was not bad but was little hard to understand as he didn’t interact much and I honestly didn’t like the way he considered Heidi as his property and was sometimes very ungrateful.
Story was created by four phases in Heidi’s life- Heidi coming to stay with her grandfather, Heidi in Frankfurt at Sessmann household, back to old hut, and visitors from Frankfurt. I was enamored by author’s writing and style and how she portrayed all these phases of Heidi’s life and her development along with it.
In the beginning of the book only author presented the presumptive nature of villagers and picturesque shimmering beauty of mountain and the old cozy hut. All characters were introduced with careful details which gave the feel of knowing them instantly. Goats in the book were so cute, even they were narrated immaculately.
Heidi’s daily visit to valleys over the mountain was most remarkable part of the book that made me fall in love with the place like all other characters in the book. This first phase of Heidi’s life was full of happiness and new discoveries.
Heidi’s life in Frankfurt was written with so much emotion. It broke my heart when Heidi’s aunt, Detie came back and dragged her to Sessmann household against her wish. I felt heavy in heart when Miss Rottenmeier forbidden her to cry and seeing her suffer due to homesickness. Amid all the gloominess, initial innocent mistakes of Heidi, visit of Grandmamma and the ghost in the house made it amusing to read. This phase taught Heidi lot about life- disciplines, gratefulness, forming a bond of friendship, importance of studies, love for book, and faith in God.
Third part of the book, Heidi’s return and visitors from Frankfurt, was my favorite. They were simply heartwarming. New change in Uncle Alp, reading hymns to grannie, Peter’s learning and miraculous recovery of Heidi’s friend was uplifting. I laughed at Peter’s fear and the effect of ABC rhyme had on him.
I liked the way author frequently encouraged characters and so readers to keep faith in God, what good that come from praying and what happens when one don’t trust God or stop praying throughout the book. I also liked the way peter was taught about the consequences of doing wrong to other in rage. Religious messages, forming bonds with other, gratefulness and selflessness, love for nature, vanity of riches and appearance, simple and healthy living – all these can forms strong foundation in children and also had a good life messages for adults.
Overall, it was captivating, charming, delightful, insightful classic with full of emotions. It’s best book for children and I wish to read it again and again. Loved it!
Author: Johanna Spyri
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