Sunday, September 27, 2015


Heidi. Johanna Spyri. 1880/2009. Puffin Classics/Penguin.  320 pages. [Source: Bought]

I enjoyed reading Heidi for the third time. I really did. I definitely think there is something timeless about this children's novel. Why do I like it so much?

Well, I like Heidi herself, of course. I love her actually. Like isn't strong enough a word for how I feel about her.

I also love the developing relationship between Heidi and her Grandfather. I do. I really tend to love books that highlight the special bond or relationship that exists between grandparents and grandchildren, or, even between the generations, such as Heidi and "the Grandmother" (Peter's grandmother). Heidi values--loves unconditionally--these two so very much. And I have to admit I love them too.

I enjoy reading about Heidi's time with Peter. Peter is such an interesting character: at times very naughty and so stubborn. Yet there is something joyful about him too. Even if he is a bit difficult to get along with at times. Heidi never gives up on Peter, she keeps pushing him to be better and better.

I like that the book does have flawed characters. Characters like Peter and the Grandfather. Now, I suppose, one could argue that Heidi is too good to be true, that she's not flawed enough. I don't have a good answer for that, other than the fact that in this case, it doesn't bother me. Perhaps because Heidi is clueless as to how good she is. Heidi isn't proud or snobbish. Far from it.

I like the morals of the book. I really do. There is just something incredibly wholesome about this one. One of the 'morals' of this one is the providence of God. Heidi may not understand just why she's torn away from Grandfather and forced to go away and be a companion for Clara, but, she later comes to realize that it was God working all things for good. While with Clara, she not only makes a good friend, but she learns to read, she meets Jesus, she makes other friends whose lives she will without a doubt change for the better. Because she's met Jesus, when she does eventually go back to Grandfather, she is able to tell him about Jesus, and he comes to Christ as well. Heidi touches many lives besides the Grandfather and Grandmother, she also helps Clara's doctor reconcile with God. And, then, there is, of course, the obvious, Clara's coming to visit and learning to walk again. The book has some good-and-wise things to say about life, prayer, and God. This focus on the spiritual life may make the book seem old-fashioned to some readers perhaps. And may even be unwelcome by some today. But. I think Heidi has that something special that more modern books lack at times.

There is something sweet about the book that leaves you with a satisfied feeling. Not every book does you know.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Hannah Hall said...

I'm ashamed to say that as much as I loved a movie I watched about Heidi as a girl, I have never read the book. I am really ashamed to say that I had no idea the book had such a Christian perspective. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I guess I should to add this one to my (ever-growing) list of Books I Need To Read. :)