But the fourth book in the series -- Grandma Heidi -- was never translated into English until now, when my daughter and I completed it.
I was one of the worst French students in my family. My brother is actually quite fluent, having spent some time in New Caledonia, and acquiring a very amusing New Caledonian accent. My mother has spent more time in France than I ever did; and my father studied it for his leaving certificate. I dropped it at the end of year 10 (4th form as it was known at the time) before I started my pipe-organ building apprenticeship. I wrote my end-of-year French exam left-handed just to practice — that’s how little I cared about French. Sorry, Ms Kviz, it wasn’t your teaching.
It was doomed to end badly. I translated two sentences that day in 1990 and got stuck on the third.
But I promised to finish it later.
In my family we have an alphabetic Christmas tradition — each year the presents begin with the next letter of the alphabet, which for the year 2020 was the letter “T”. So I finished the translation (30 years after I promised to do it, and with a lot of help from my daughter, who started French in kindergarten) and gave it to her for Christmas.
At the end of last year as I was wrapping up the first draft, I found that a lot of the women in my life started asking about it. Heidi was a part of their childhood, and they would like to know how it ends, so I’ve decided to publish it. I had some delightful watercolours done — based on the original that I was working from.
It is available for pre-order for March 1st 2021: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08WH6774S
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