The gift of a lifetime?
Anna Browne is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life. Her day job as a receptionist in bustling London isn’t exactly her dream, yet she has everything she wants. But someone thinks Anna Browne deserves more . . .
When a parcel addressed to Anna Browne arrives, she has no idea who has sent it. Inside she finds a beautiful gift – one that is designed to be seen. And so begins a series of incredible deliveries, each one bringing Anna further out of the shadows and encouraging her to become the woman she was destined to be. As Anna grows in confidence, others begin to notice her – and her life starts to change.
But who is sending the mysterious gifts, and why?
Anna Browne is more than happy with the way her life is going. She has a good job working for a national newspaper and a great group of close friends. Anna is one of those people who doesn’t like to stand out from the crowd – she works hard and is a genuinely nice, down to earth young girl.
However Anna’s life looks set to take a very different turn when she starts receiving beautiful parcels from an anonymous sender. Intrigue quickly grows at The Daily Messenger offices as the parcels are delivered to Anna at work. Despite not knowing who is sending the parcels they turn out to be exactly what Anna needs. Each gift is something special which encourages Anna to blossom and grow in confidence. The parcels soon start to have a real impact on Anna’s life – but who exactly is behind all these mysterious gifts?
I fell in love with the idea of A Parcel for Anna Browne as soon as I heard about it. It sounded just perfect to me – mysterious, magical and hugely intriguing. Miranda Dickinson and her beautifully crafted storytelling certainly did not let me down.
As a lover of fairytales A Parcel for Anna Browne was right up my street because I think you could easily class this novel as a modern-day type of fairytale. It’s based on such a lovely idea and as soon as you meet Anna you cannot help but fall for her. She is such a genuinely nice character. She may not be living the high life but she is always grateful for what she has and she is the kind of character you will become totally invested in when reading the story. Positive and friendly, I challenge anyone to not warm to Anna right from the off. However it’s clear that she is lacking in confidence and is maybe slightly too naive for her own good – which is why watching her receive these mystery parcels and transform before my very eyes was such a pleasure and made for an adorable story with a very clever concept.
If I has to choose my favourite thing from the story then along with Miranda’s wonderful writing, it would be the fantastic array of characters that she has created for this novel. Anna’s friends Tish and Jonah (*drool*) were such fun to read about and elderly neighbour Isadora was adorable. Anna’s colleagues at The Daily Messenger were just as brilliant. Ted, the security guard, was hilarious with his conspiracy theories and Sheniece was quite a memorable character to say the least…
The thing that concerned me most about A Parcel for Anna Browne was as to whether it would be completely obvious who was sending the parcels, but I was relived to discover that this is not the case at all. I had an inkling about mid-way through the book as to who the mystery benefactor might have been, but this didn’t ruin the story for me. In fact it made it all the more fun and made me all the more keen to race on to the end to see if I was correct. There are quite a few contenders that it could be sending these parcels, so it’s not all as clear cut as you may think…
Whilst Anna is our main narrator, we also get to hear snippets from some of the other characters in the story which works so well. Especially when you start to realise why we’re suddenly hearing things from a certain characters point of view… Hearing from other characters perspectives really highlighted how Anna felt about herself. Others were seeing a totally different girl to how Anna perceived herself. It’s then that you realise just how little self confidence Anna truly has and how nice it would be to see her succeed.
I loved how this book was just brimming with positive messages. It’s charming, heart-warming and will leave you with the biggest, soppiest smile on your face.
I’d recommend this book to everyone whether you’re already a Miranda Dickinson fan or not (and if you’re not then I guarantee that you will be by the end of this novel!) Romantic and magical, A Parcel for Anna Browne is the perfect feel-good modern day fairytale.
A huge thank you to Francesca at Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy of A Parcel for Anna Browne to read and review. ♥
Miranda began writing in earnest four years ago with her first novel, Coffee at Kowalski’s – a romantic comedy set in New York’s Upper West Side. This was spotted on HarperCollins’ site for unpublished authors, Authonomy.com at the end of 2008 and was released by Avon (part of HC) as Fairytale of New York on 12th November 2009. She has also written several short stories, scripts and novel excerpts, many of which are published on Helium.com. Miranda is also a regular contributor for www.myvillage.com writing a range of local interest articles for the Birmingham area and national film and festival reviews.