on 16 April 2013
This book was the long-awaited sequel to "Mister God, This is Anna", originally published in 1974. It continues the extraordinary story of Anna, the five year old girl who had run away from home in the London of the 1930s, and was taken in by "Fynn" and his family and friends. This book introduces us to other people in Anna and Fynn's lives, notably John D. Hodge, Fynn's old schoolmaster from Cooper's Company College, known to his pupils as the "Black Knight", a profound sceptic where matters of religion were concerned, who had suffered badly during the First World War, and had become a rationalist, to whom the mere mention of the word "God" provoked an outburst of scorn. However, as John Hodge got to know Anna, while being puzzled as to how to use his educational knowledge to help this "exceedingly bright" child, who had had little formal schooling, he warmed to her exuberant personality and her ability to discover meaning in life related to Mister God. Towards the end of the book Fynn relates how the "Black Knight" eventually came to a fresh understanding of religious belief, realising that it wasn't a "cosy hideaway", but "hard work". We must be grateful to little Anna herself for what she achieved in a few short years, and to Fynn, for his ability to recreate her life and her impact on all those she met. A magical book, which will influence for good all who read it.
on 16 May 2013
In my top ten of favourite books of all time! A book like no other and based on the true story of a real-life 'angel' with the wilfulness and wiles (and laughter) of a child. A book you'll end up reading (and buying as a gift for others) many times over. The illustrations are pretty bad, but the picture it conjurs of East End 1930s life and its characters (and the inimitable Anna, whose life may have been short, but not for one second in vain) is unforgettable.