Mister God, This is Anna begins with the author reminiscing about his brief but life-changing interactions with a four-year-old orphan. The narrative takes us through the chance meeting of Fynn and precocious little Anna on the streets of a pre-war, sort of a boom town in England.
In the course of the story, Fynn talks about his daily life as an English lad content with clocking in his hours at the factory and heading to the local pub for a pint or two. On one such evening he meets Anna, a not-so-typical child who believes she has a direct line with “Mister God”. Fynn brings Anna to his mother’s home.
Fynn and Anna’s bond, while initially described as that of an older brother and a younger sister, slowly develops into friendship, eventually blossoming into a spiritual bond between two theologically opposite-minded individuals.
The highlight of the book is the interaction between Fynn and Anna. Anna asks simple, yet profound questions about seemingly mundane and obvious things existing around her. Be it a bent pole on the road, the act of playing the piano or how a simple instrument like an oscilloscope captures myriad sounds of nature–the sound of a caterpillar or that of a matchstick being lit. Every interaction leads to an anecdote, every anecdote leads to a deeper realisation for Fynn. And with every realisation, the author is compelled to look within and outward with a new set of eyes.
As I flipped through the pages of the book with palpable excitement, I realised every interaction between the duo had a lesson. Be it attending the Sunday mass or a more sombre event like a funeral, Anna’s engaging point of view left me spellbound – the sheer simplicity of thought, the humility we need in our ever-changing world, and the urgent need to appreciate the beauty of the world.
Mister God, This is Anna leaves the reader in a contemplative mode – is our purpose only to cater to our primal needs? Is it also to appreciate the world we live in and understand the hidden meaning of it all? These are some of the questions the book leaves you with.
A first-person narrative, the book brings Anna and Fynn’s story to life with a vivid description of everyday life and events. The style of the author has a conversational tone of a fond memory. The author puts the reader at ease with simple language even while dealing with a complex subject. Anna’s thoughts are presented with a hue of innocence, honesty and amazement.
Mister God, This is Anna could not have been wittier, more profound, more interesting, and more of a book, even if the author tried. A must-read for those in search of the ‘supreme being’, for those who claim to have found him/her, and for those who are not sure if they are even looking.