“At five years Anna knew absolutely the purpose of being, knew the meaning of love, and was a personal friend and helper of Mister God. At six Anna was a theologian, mathematician, philosopher, poet, and gardener. If you asked her a question you would always find an answer. On some occasions the answer would be delayed for weeks or months; but eventually, in her own good time, the answer would come: direct, simple, and much to the point.”
The reader is introduced to Anna on a dark night, somewhere along the pier, when she’s four and a runaway from home. Fynn, the author (a pseudonym for Sydney Hopkins), is a lad of barely 16, picks her up hopeless and dirty, and his mother takes Anna in. Here begins the marvellous journey of a little piece of magic, full of questions and answers.
This book brings a certain level of familiarity with God, in a way no religious text can. In fact, if someone needs his faith and trust in God to be renewed or even reinvented, this is the book for them. No, it is not preachy or didactic. It does not tell you to be kind to enemies and all of that hogwash! But through Anna’s eyes, the reader glimpses little things to be thankful for, everyday. And above all, finds the answer to the eternal question “Where is God?”
What also do we, as opinionated readers, make of the relationship between a boy of 16 and a little girl of four (going on 80!)? It is not love, nay, that is too naïve an emotion; it is not respect, merely; or trust… it is a cross between all things wonderful, all things reliable. This book is a read for those moments of uncertainty and pain, of madness and depression. It is one of the most uplifting books I’ve read.
Quote: “So very many times over the next three years i heard her laughter – no silver bells or sweet rippling sounds was her laughter, but like a five-year-old’s bellow of delight, a cross between a puppy’s yelp, a motor-bike and a bicycle pump.”