The book succeeds as a portrayal of the joys of mountain life, but otherwise fails to do justice to Spyri's story of a girl's courage and persistence.
Heidi has captivated and enthralled readers since it was first published. Heidi, an orphan, has to move in with her stern, demanding grandfather in the Swiss Alps, and just as she begins to feel at home she finds herself back in a city caring for a sick relative. This classic coming of age story explores the balance between freedom and family responsibilities. The joyously triumphant resolution will stay with the reader for a long time.
Author Johanna Spyri was born in the village of Hirzel, Switzerland on June 12, 1827. She was tutored at home and attended school both at home and in Zurich. She married Bernhard Spyri, a lawyer, in 1852 and moved to Zurich. She wrote her first story, A Leaf on Vrony's Grave, in 1871. She wrote numerous stories for both children and adults, but her most famous work was Heidi, which was published in 1880. Both her husband and son died in 1884. She spent her remaining years writing, raising her niece, and doing charity work. She died on July 7, 1901.