Some books are evergreen. No matter how many times you read them or re-read them, they retain the same magic as they had when you first read them. Even if the time between reading for the first time and the second time is twenty odd years, they feel as wonderful. The last time I read this book was in school days. And I used to watch the cartoon movie then too. Once in a while, a trip back in time to relive those childhood memories is in order. This time, it was through a book that stayed in memories – Heidi by Johanna Spyri.
As children, we do not look for plot structures, twists, thrill and action or what not. What we look at is the story, if it keeps us engaged and takes us into a world where we become part of it once we enter. Heidi does that, and with the little girl, I walked up the alps to that cottage where Grandfather and the two goats were, where Peter had trouble getting the goats back because they followed Heidi and where the flowers were so beautiful, the little girl had to pick them. I felt her homesickness when she was taken away and brought to the city to be company for Clara. I felt her eagerness when she was allowed to go back to the Alps, the excitement when Clara visited etc. It’s the world that revolved around the girl Heidi and the world that I remember being part of all those years back that made it as beautiful a read as I remember.
The novel moves almost effortlessly from page to page, from the time Heidi is brought to her grandfather to the end. It makes for wonderful reading, because the characters change with the time. The grandfather, old and obstinate and considered hard-hearted by the villagers, is changed by the arrival of Heidi. Heidi, possibly held back by her city stay, takes to her roots with ease. There is transformation, and it is evident. The book shows we can do things if we set our mind to it. There are parts that seem overly centred with God, and that didn’t interest me mich, but it didn’t make a big difference in the overall reading of the novel.
This is a book that’ll continue to remain dear for a long time to come, and that says a lot about the novel itself.
Classics / Children’s Fiction
|ISBN/ASIN: 9780007449422||Publisher: Collins Classics|
(© 9th September 2015)