Author: Johanna Spyri
Publishers: Currently being published by many companies, one of the most well-known being Puffin Classics
Release Year: 1880
Heidi is an orphaned little girl, living with her aunt in Switzerland. Aunt Dete decides that she no longer wishes to take care of the child, and brings her to the Swiss Alps to live with her reclusive grandfather, Alm-Uncle, who lives up on the mountain by himself. Although Alm-Uncle is not very pleased to have a little 5-year-old to take care of, Heidi’s cheerfulness and bubbly personality soon earn his true affection for her. Heidi is eager to explore her new home and befriends all that she meets— the shepherd boy Peter, Peter’s blind grandmother, and all of the goats that Peter herds. She is amazed by the beauty of the mountains and loves her grandfather with all her heart. However, after a few years, Dete returns and takes Heidi away from Alm-Uncle to be a hired companion of sorts for a wealthy, handicapped girl named Clara Sessemen in Frankfurt. Heidi agrees to go if only she can bring back some white bread for Peter’s grandmother. Once in Frankfurt, Clara and Heidi become fast friends. Clara is very entertained by Heidi’s antics as she tries to get used to the dreary, busy city life of Frankfurt, but the house-keeper, Fräulein Rottenmeier is disapproves very much. Slowly but surely, homesickness and loneliness sets in and Heidi wastes away. Can she ever get back home?
Ah, Heidi. The little girl has found the way to my heart. ❤
It’s no secret that I adore classics, but Heidi is something else. It literally transports you to the Alps, where the air is pure, where you can eat as much fresh goat cheese and bread as you want to, where the sun says goodbye to the mountains at dusk, where gruff grandfathers learn to love again, where disabled children are cured by the sheer beauty of it all, and where you want to stay forever and never leave.
Such vivid, lively writing. I tear up so much whenever I read it. Behind those lovely, sentimental words, however, lies an important lesson to stay with you all your life: If you love, if you forgive, if you believe, if you let go, if you ask, and if you apologize, then you will be truly happy.
And the characters, oh, the characters! Heidi, a young girl who brings joy into the hearts of all she meets. Alm-Uncle, a tenderhearted yet brusque old man. Peter, a fiercely devoted friend who loathes to share Heidi with Clara. The Doctor, who decides that Heidi must return to her home with Alm-Uncle. Clara, who delights in drinking goat milk and leaving behind her wheelchair. Clara’s Grandmamma, who teaches Heidi that even in the darkest of times, you must ask and hope. And Peter’s Grandmother, who although blind, who loves Heidi as her own. What a wonderful cast.
Once you’ve read this book, though, there’s no going back. You will forever long to go to the Alps and live in a cabin on top of the mountain, sharing a simple meal of bread, cheese, and goat’s milk with Heidi and her grandfather. Someday I hope to visit Switzerland, but until then, those beautiful mountains will remain safe in my heart.
I hope you liked that! It’s the first book review that I’ve done by request, and it’s a book I really, really love. Happy May, everybody!