Welcome to the third discussion for the Heidi read-along! If this is the first you've heard of the read-along, you can view the schedule in this invitation post.
Today we'll be discussing chapter 14 of part 1 and chapters 1-4 of part 2. If you've already read these chapters, you can share your thoughts in the comments section below or in your own post. (Feel free to use the image above, linking back to the Heidi read-along tag.) If you still need to catch up on the reading, you're welcome to check in when you're ready. :) We're happy to have you join us whenever you can!
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Heidi: Chapter 14 (Part 1)
and Chapters 1-4 (Part 2)
and Chapters 1-4 (Part 2)
Discussion format: your favorite quotes, general impressions, and three questions to answer for each week's reading
- "She no longer had the old expression on her face, but appeared happy and thankful, as if she already looked with new bright eyes into the beautiful heavenly garden."
- "She quietly pushed her book in front of her grandfather and said, 'See, how happy he is!' and pointed with her finger to the picture of the son's return home, where he stands in fresh garments beside his father, and once more belongs to him as his son."
- "When the people turned to go down the mountain the old man stood for a long time gazing after them, and a warm light was spread over his face, as if the sun shone out from within him. Heidi looked steadily at him and said with delight: 'Grandfather, you never looked so handsome before as you have today!'"
- "The roaring of the wind always stirred the very depths of Heidi's soul and made her feel that she must run out under the great branches."
- "The gentleman will have to make the best of it, for if our cooking is plain our dining room is all that could be desired."
- "Round about, the golden autumn sun shone over the peaks and the distant green valley. Everywhere from the pastures below came the sound of the bells of the herd, so lovely and delightful, as if announcing sweet peace far and wide. The golden sunbeams flashed sparkling and glistening here and there on the great snow fields above, and the gray Falknis lifted its towers of rock in lofty majesty far up into the deep blue sky. The morning breeze blew gently and deliciously over the mountain and softly stirred the last bluebells, still remaining from the great numbers of the summer, and cheerfully nodding their little heads in the warm sunshine."
- "In the evening the moon rose very bright and big, and all night long shone over the vast snow fields, and the next morning the whole mountain from top to bottom glistened and glittered like a crystal."
This story is so incredibly sweet! Everything seemed to wrap up so beautifully in chapter 13, but chapter 14 made everything even better. To have Heidi share her childlike faith with her grandfather and to see him repent and find such joy in the Lord—it's wonderful! I loved that he took Heidi down the mountain to church, where he was welcomed back with such warmth and kindness. Ah, such a great ending to part 1!
Also, between Heidi reading the hymns to the grandmother and then reading the story of the prodigal son to her grandfather, we see what a special gift reading can be for oneself and others. ♥
Part 2 is proving to be wonderful too. Disappointments arise and are addressed, but there is a constant sense of optimism and gratitude in the main characters. Heidi's interactions with the doctor are so heartfelt and sweet. I'm glad he was the one to go for the autumn visit. :)
Peter... Well, Klara pretty much has him pegged when she decides she better not designate the gift of sausage in her package solely for him, but make sure his mother divvies it up, LOL. He's a little preoccupied with food and wanting things to go his way. Those preoccupations do make him rather relatable! But I hope he grows up a bit by the end of the story. :)
Heidi and her grandfather's living situation in Dörfli is interesting! I like how the grandfather did his best to prepare the space and make sure Heidi would be comfortable, and it's fun to see how Heidi embraces the adventure of it. Even though she misses waking up in their home on the mountain, I love how she hears her grandfather and the goats in the morning and "felt that she was at home after all" (page 225 in my copy).
All in all, I'm continuing to greatly enjoy Heidi! I'm looking forward to seeing how the story wraps up, although it's bittersweet to think we're already nearing the end. I'm thinking this will be a great story to re-read at some point, for sure!
Answer any or all three of these questions in the comments section or in your own blog post.
1. Which scene in this section made you the most happy when you read it?
2. In what way has one of the characters inspired you?
3. How would you feel about living in the "mansion" in Dörfli where Heidi and her grandfather spend the winter?
Join us next Friday for our fourth and final discussion!
(Part 2: Chapters 5-9)
*Johanna Spyri, Heidi, trans. Helen B. Dole (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1945), 175, 179, 183, 197, 204, 210, 225-226.