Mister God This Is Anna By Fynn
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.
One of Papas' drawings
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.
I’m not afraid to say, this book greatly affected me the first time I read It. A friend of the family lent it to me because she thought I would like it, and I mostly read it on the train ride to and from Joondalup, where I was getting counseling for anxiety once a week. I was only about 18 and at a hard time in my life, and Mister God this is Anna was a little ray of sunshine. When I read the final chapters, I cried on the train, and didn’t even care who saw. When I returned it to my family friend I tentatively asked if I could keep it (in fact I was so nervous about doing so, I think I asked my mum to be the middle man) but alas, she treasured it too much to let it go.
I was so excited to read it again and re-discover all its beautiful moments, and while I did enjoy the reunion, it was overshadowed by the fact that I knew how it ended, and even though the first page warned of the tragic ending, It’s different when you have the image of it. I didn’t cry this time, but that is probably due to the fact that it wasn’t a shock.
Despite this shadow hanging over my second reading, I plan to read Mister God this is Anna again and again, and I implore anyone – if you can find this book, do so because I just may change you life.
I give Mister God this is Anna By Fynn:
5 / 5 Stars