Anna and Mister God

27th February 2004 at 00:00
Anna and Mister God

By Fynn. Illustrations by PapasForeword by Dr Rowan Williams

HarperCollins pound;9.99

Mister God, This is Anna, in which an abused runaway four-year-old is taken in by the narrator's East End family and explores her and others' concepts of life, faith and the universe, is 30 years old and is published here with two subsequent and less readable Anna volumes: Anna's Book and Anna and the Black Knight.

Fynn, a shipyard apprentice obsessed with maths and physics, finds Anna in a pea-souper fog and takes her home to his Irish mother (it was the 1930s, so nobody called social services). Together, he and the child explore life's big questions and learn from each other. The innocence of their relationship is a challenge to contemporary readers' credibility and some passages are over-sugared. But Anna, who is scared of Hyde Park but passionate about growing things, loves to dance in churches but can't bear the services, still repays perseverance.

Geraldine Brennan

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