Monday 9 November 2015

A Parcel For Anna Browne by Miranda Dickinson

Anna Browne leads a pretty ordinary life, spending time with her close friends when she isn't working as a receptionist for the Daily Messenger newspaper. But her ordinary life is given a boost when she starts to receive anonymous gifts, which are always wrapped in brown paper and delivered to her workplace.
The gifts are beautiful and Anna begins to shine brighter with each new delivery. But who is sending the gifts? And why?
I loved the premise of the book and was instantly intrigued about who Anna's mysterious gift-giver was. I was almost as eager to see what was contained in each parcel as Anna - and her workmates - were when each one arrived at the Daily Messenger's reception desk. It's such a romantic idea and I loved how Anna began to blossom, her confidence growing with each parcel she receives. One of the aspects I liked most about the book was the care and detail that went into the packages - and not just from the sender. Miranda Dickinson described the packages so evocatively, not only from the sight but the scents and the memories each one evoked.
We learn about Anna's childhood, which wasn't always a happy one, and see that Anna deserved this injection of glamour and attention. She's a warm and sweet character so I was hoping she'd get a happy ending. She obviously cares about her friends and I loved the friendship she has with her elderly neighbour, taking the time to visit and really listen, which makes a huge difference to the quality of her neighbour's life.
While I liked the character of Anna, I think my favourite of all was security guard Ted. He's such a larger-than-life character and he really jumped off the page for me. He sometimes takes his job a bit too seriously but he's a fun, vibrant character and I really enjoyed his scenes in the book. Fellow receptionist Sheniece also grew on by the end. To begin with, I thought was rather shallow but I started to see a more caring side.
While the majority of the story revolves around Anna, there are little snippets from other characters too and I found this aspect interesting as we find out how the people around Anna see her and the whole parcel situation. It was great to have this secret insight into Anna and, for me, it gave a more rounded view.
A Parcel For Anna Browne is a fabulously feel-good story full of charming characters, hot heroes and plenty of drama and intrigue.

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