I’ve been putting off posting this review, not because It was a dud but because there is so much I want to say about this jewel of a book. But on Friday I went to Joondalup Library for a school excursion, and the last time I went to Joondalup, I was reading Mister God this is Anna for the first time, so I thought that was push enough to spread the word.
It is hard to describe this book. It would be like trying to describe a religious revelation – it is an individual experience. All I can say is that it is one of the most beautiful, philosophical little books I’ve ever read. It revolves around a little girl called Anna, who at the tender age of five is found by a young man called Fynn, alone in the middle of the night on the streets of East-end, London. Fynn sees that Anna needs a home and has been abused so he takes her back to his humble abode to live with him, his mother and the other waifs and runaways they have taken in. Fynn soon discovers that Anna is no ordinary little girl; she is a firecracker of curiosity and wonder, always asking questions and creating theories about how the world works, especially when It comes to Mister God (as she calls him). The author is stated as Fynn, and the story is told through his eyes, but when I did a little digging I found that the man behind this book is actually Sydney Hopkins and to my amaze/excitement I found that he wrote two sequels: Anna’s Book and Anna and the Black Knight.
There is so many amazing ideas in this book that It could easily be the basis of its own religion. It is, at its heart a religious novel, but you don’t have to be religious for it to move you. I’m Pagan, so I don’t really believe in “Mister God” but while the themes of the book are religious, I didn’t feel that they were necessarily Christian or promoting organised religion, but were more spiritual and thoughtful. There would be food for thought for anyone here, even atheists, because beneath the subject matter is simply a little girl overcome with wonder at the world around her, and weren’t we all like that once?
The other amazing thing about this book is the accompanying pictures by William Papas.
His free-form sketchy style fits the youthful exuberance of the book so well, and even though there is so many pictures of little Anna, you never see her face because it’s always obscured by a mane of wild hair, adding a lovely mysteriousness to the character.