The World According to Anna
“An important book … Jostein Gaarder writes about the big questions in life, […] possibly the biggest issue of all: how can we prevent the Earth from being destroyed?”
The World According to Anna is a typical Jostein Gaarder novel with a crafty build-up of events that makes the reader curious and excited. How is all of this connected?
When Anna turns 16 on 12 December 2012 she receives Aunt Sunniva’s red ruby ring, an old heirloom. Anna thinks about the people who have lived on the Earth before her. Perhaps that is why she is so concerned about the fact that the Earth is in danger, that with our eyes open and at a rapid pace, we are actually in the process of destroying the biological diversity − and thereby the foundation of existence for future generations. This upsets Anna. She also has a rich imagination. She has an imaginative capacity that is so intense that she has lately begun receiving images and thoughts from another reality, perhaps from another era. It is therefore not so strange that her parents send her to Dr. Benjamin, who is a psychiatrist. But he does not believe that there is anything wrong with Anna; on the contrary, he thinks she is a strong girl who is concerned about important things.
In another reality Nova awakens on 12 December 2082. She is in bed in her room with the terminal that provides her with all of the information her heart could possibly desire. It can retrieve photos from the whole world whenever she wants. She receives all of the information about the earth’s condition subsequent to the global warming that ran amok a few decades before. Nova receives messages constantly about animal species that have become extinct, the Earth is no longer as fertile, green and beautiful, and Nova is furious about the human beings of previous generations who did not succeed in saving the Earth in time. But this morning she just wants to enjoy herself and sets the terminal so that it only gives her pictures of the Earth as it was before 12 December 2012 – which is the date of great-grandmother Anna’s 16th birthday. Her great-grandmother is still alive and at this moment she enters Nova’s room dressed in a blue kimono and wearing a red ruby ring on her finger. The red ring has magical powers …
ANNA is a fabulous story that alternate between time frames and the two main characters Anna and Nova. The plot of this exciting novel goes beyond the limits of possibility. At the same time, this is a serious story about how things may turn out for the Earth if we do not come to our senses and recognise our responsibility as residents of this planet. It’s still not too late. Is it? We can certainly be given another chance?