Anna, though young and short-lived, demonstrates her great wisdom and ability to positively change those around her just by being who she is. When Fynn meets her at the age of 19, Anna is a 4-year-old homeless runaway, dirty, frightened, bruised, seemingly unloved, and alone. Fynn takes her home (his mother is always taking in castaways, both people and animals). They clean her up, and Anna begins her new life full of curiosity and spunk.
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She most importantly now has Fynn, who loves her as an adorable adopted little sister. He shows her what he can, including information about astronomy, music, physics, reading and writing, names, etymologies, prisms, and more. Anna consistently goes at her own pace, sometimes taking unbelievable amounts of time for small amounts information, but then coming up with the most surprising observations. She is also incredibly intelligent. At the age of five, for example, she uses her musical knowledge to figure out with relatively good accuracy how fast a bee's wings flap.
Anna also has a profound effect on others. Despite her experiences before coming to live with Fynn's family, she has an unshakeable faith in God. She is constantly pondering various aspects of her faith, but equally strongly believes that church is just for babies or people who have trouble understanding the most simple things. For Anna, religion must be lived, and that can only be done in the wide world, not in a church. When the priest questions her about it, she promptly says she knows it all already, and proceeds to distill the Jesus' most basic commands and teachings into a few sentences. Needless to say, the priest is rendered speechless.
Even when Anna is not thinking about or talking about Mister God (as she calls him), her presence positively changes the atmosphere on the street among the children and at Fynn's house. She in particular changes Fynn, who though he used to spend his evenings with coworkers and friends, now comes home punctually to spend time with Anna. Fynn is closer to Anna than anyone else, and is therefore also the hardest hit when Anna falls from a tree and dies at the age of seven. For a long time he mourns her loss – perhaps still – but he finally decides that to memorialize her, he should also tell her story. As he explains at the beginning, Fynn is not his real name. Full names are never used. But Fynn knows that Anna's story, just as she was valuable to him, will serve to inspire others.
Best part of story, including ending:
Fynn is able, by telling Anna's story, to memorialize a young but amazing girl who is worth remembering.
Best scene in story:
When Anna is about five, she hears a fly buzzing, and one of the other children on the street wonders how fast its wings beat. She starts humming the pitch their flapping makes, comes inside to the piano, finds the note, and uses her knowledge of note frequencies (provided by Fynn) to figure it out. Most five-year-olds can't do this, nor can most kids significantly older than her, but she does. She understands and is able to apply the relationship between musical notes and frequencies.
Opinion about the main character:
Anna is so young and has such a sad past (before the story begins), yet she is remarkably intelligent and wise beyond her years.