Friday, January 31, 2020

Discussion 4 ~ Heidi Read-Along

Welcome to the fourth and final 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 chapters 5-9 of part 2 (the last five chapters of the book). 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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HeidiChapters 5-9 (Part 2)

Discussion format: your favorite quotes, general impressions, and three questions to answer for each week's reading

Favorite Quotes*
  • "Now she had to listen to the wind as it blew down deep and mysterious from the cliffs above, coming nearer and growing mightier, and then leaping into the fir trees, bending and shaking them until it seemed as if it were shouting with delight; and Heidi had to shout too, while she was blown hither and thither like a little leaf."
  • "Do you know why the stars are so full of joy, and wink at us so with their eyes?... Because they see up in heaven how well the dear Lord directs everything for people, so that they need have no worry and can be safe, because everything will happen for the best. That delights them so; see how they wink, that we may be happy too!"
  • "The sky was deep blue, and not a single cloud was to be seen anywhere. The great snow field beyond them sparkled like thousands and thousands of gold and silver stars. The gray rocky peaks stood high and steadfast in their places, as they had done for ages, looking down solemnly into the valley below."
  • "We ought to pray to the dear Lord every day, and about every single thing; for then He will know that we do not forget that we receive everything from Him."
  • "My good grandmother," broke in Frau Sesemann, "before our Father in heaven we are all equally poor, and it is equally necessary to all of us that He should not forget us."

General Impressions

Overall, I found this to be a happy and lovely conclusion to a sweet story!

Perhaps the one part I'm not so satisfied with is Peter's... While he learns to read and also learns an important lesson about no sin staying secret, I would have liked to see more genuine change. He's able to read the grandmother hymns, but he doesn't seem to care about the words and how they bless the grandmother (as he's willing to just drop the difficult ones!). And when Frau Sesemann basically offers to grant him a wish, he chooses something for himself, unlike Heidi and the grandfather, who want to bless others.

But that's a good reminder for me! When there's a chance I could receive something I want, I know I'm more like Peter in my thinking, and I can learn a lot from the giving and selfless nature of Heidi and her grandfather.

One thing that confuses me a bit is Peter's age. In chapter 1 Heidi is said to be about 5 and Peter is 11. So I would think by the end of the book he would be well into his teenage years? I guess I'm not exactly sure, but he seems to be little-boy-like throughout the story...

I love how much good it does Klara to be on the mountain with Heidi! The two of them find so much joy in the simple things, in the beauty of nature and the taste of goat milk and the starry view from their loft. And as we've all been chatting about throughout this read-along, Heidi's trusting and front-and-center faith is so inspiring! I love how easily she talks about God with those around her and how she's determined to always give Him the glory.

Of course, it's absolutely wonderful that, through grace and patience and care, Klara finds healing and is able to walk again! It's a great climax for the story. We go from Heidi being dragged up the mountain by an unkind relative in chapter 1 to new friends falling in love with the mountain and a family/community being formed there as spiritual and physical healing take place. So lovely!

The story ends on a very hopeful note, and I love that the last line talks about praising God "for all that He has done for us" (page 316 in my copy). :)

Discussion Questions

Answer any or all three of these questions in the comments section or in your own blog post.

1. What did you think of Peter's reading lessons and Heidi's teaching methods?

2. Which scene did you find the most beautiful or memorable in these last chapters?

3. If you could step into the pages of the book, what would you be most eager to experience? (A night gazing at the stars from the loft? Waking up to the sound of the wind through the fir trees? Sitting among the flowers and goats on the mountain? Or something else?)

Thank you so much for joining the Heidi read-along!
It's been a joy to read and discuss the book with you. :)

*Johanna Spyri, Heidi, trans. Helen B. Dole (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1945), 245, 262, 279, 289, 312-313.


Julie said...

I totally agree with you about Peter! He should have been more grown up. The timing is confusing for sure. But I like what you said about being like him. I think we all have our selfish moments where we want things our own way. Heidi is a good example of giving up our own desires for the good of someone else's. A good lesson to learn for sure! Thanks so much Amber for hosting the read-along. I sure enjoyed it as always! Here's my post:

Carissa said...

I enjoyed reading this book again. I know want to watch the movie. I've enjoyed all the read along's you've done over the years. Thanks for hosting. Here's my post.

MovieCritic said...

Oh Peter. *sigh* Maybe now that he has Heidi to himself for a while he will learn from her and grow. That was something that was confusing to me too, because by now shouldn't he be 16 or 17? And yet to act like that seems more like 13 or 14.

I love that picture from your copy! Clara's healing was a perfect ending. I am surprised though, because in some ways I remembered it, and in others I didn't.

Here is my final 'checkpoint'! Thanks for hosting this, because I don't think I would have reread it otherwise, but now I'm so glad that I did!

Amber Holcomb said...


I'm glad I'm not alone in being confused about Peter's character! And Heidi is definitely a wonderful example. :)

I'm so happy you enjoyed the read-along; I did too! Thank you so much for participating! Will come comment on your last past. :)


Amber Holcomb said...


Aww, I'm thrilled you've enjoyed all the read-alongs, and I'm grateful you've participated! This was a special book to read together, for sure, and I hope you get a chance to watch the movie again soon. :)

Will stop by your last post!


Amber Holcomb said...


That would be great for Peter! It is funny how he doesn't seem to age much throughout the book. :)

The illustrations in this copy are really neat! Some are a little odd or creepy (for example, the ones of Rottenmeier!), but there are some really lovely and sweet ones too, and I liked this one with Clara/Klara looking out the loft window. :)

I agree that the ending was very fitting and uplifting! That's neat that it surprised you a bit on re-reading it too. I'm really glad you enjoyed re-reading the book, and it's been great to discuss it with you! Will come swing by your final post!