Review: Heidi – Johanna Spyri

heidiThis book has been on my radar for a long while and, this edition is one that I just couldn’t resist! As it is a beautiful shade of green it was a perfect pick for the ‘green’ section of the rainbow read-a-thon which is happening this week!

So, Heidi if you didn’t know is a children’s classic and is one of the most loved children’s books in Switzerland! This is just the most wonderfully optimistic children’s books I’ve read. I absolutely devoured this in only a couple of hours because it was just so lovely.

The story follows Heidi, who at the start of this novel is 5 and is sent up a mountain to live with her grandfather – a hermit who noone really likes. In the fashion of books of this era, our little protagonist brings out the best in the old man, and he brings out the best in her. Her life up the mountain, with her grandfather, the goats and the goatherd – Peter – is idyllic. The first half is her exploring this life and falling in to it and some of it is just beautiful; descriptions of sunsets and mountaintops that are so rich I felt I was there.

The second half is following Heidi after she’s taken from the mountain to live in Frankfurt to be a companion to a young disabled girl. She deals with homesickness but she also finds friendship and faith. I don’t often like books with a religious overtone, however this book the Christianity was done with such grace and understanding it didn’t feel preachy (unlike Little Women!)

The ending of this book is just one that gave me the warm fuzzies, it’s the only way I can describe it. This book was just a delightful read and one I can see myself rereading in the future! I’d happily give this a 4/5 – it’s not my favourite children’s novel but it’s definitely up there!

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