Twentieth book reviewed as part of the 130 Challenge.
I first came to know about Heidi when I saw Arupusu no Shōjo Haiji (Heidi, Girl of the Alps), a beautiful anime based on the book. I couldn’t watch the entire series and missed a major portion of it, so I decided that I will someday read the book so that I get to know what happens to Heidi and how the story progresses.
This week, I heard of an app on the play store – LibriVox Audio Books Free, that makes available audiobooks from the public domain and for free! I have wanted to try listening to audiobooks for quite some time and since the story of Heidi is a familiar one, I decided I should give it a try. The experience was nice, but I think I would prefer reading instead of being read to.
Coming back to the book, well I was a tad disappointed by it because the anime really raised my expectations. There were quite a few superlatives used to describe the experience of the Alps, but nothing can compare to the sheer bliss of watching beautiful animation by Hayao Miyazaki (I’m a huge fan of his work). So, I had to contend myself with trying to imagine whatever I remembered from the anime, including the brilliant soundtrack.
The story is extremely simple and sweet because it is primarily meant for children. But despite that, Johanna Spyri manages to include a wide range of emotions into it, such as: longing, jealousy, anger and frustration. But she doesn’t dwell too much on the negative emotions and talks mostly of all things bright and beautiful.
Heidi is a lovely little girl and you can’t help but appreciate how adorable she is. Heidi’s grandfather (Uncle Alm) is a kind-hearted gentleman who suffers from a dark past. Heidi helps him overcome that sorrow and he in turn helps Heidi’s friend Clara (a girl who can’t walk) to become well.
This is a good story with nice characters. It is possible that the overtly religious tone of the book and the constant reference to God might make the book sound very preachy. But if that is ignored, it is a nice story for kids.
Heidi’s grandfather says this to her when she asks him why the mountains are bathed in orange and red in the evening. The picture used for the background is from the anime. Just look at it!