Published: 24th September 2015
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
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?
Thank you to Pan Macmillan for kindly sending me a review copy.
The narrative opens with a male point of view; one who is waiting in line to hand over a parcel and is trying not to be late to see his family on the Friday evening as usual. Miranda’s distinctive writing style caught my eye immediately with the soft tones, the exciting plot line and the main character of Anna Browne who you can’t help but admire from the beginning chapter. Reading this book, just know you’re in for a treat..
“But how unusual for Anna to be the topic of gossip – little, quiet Anna Browne on reception, who nobody ever noticed! The thought of it made her smile all afternoon.”
Despite being happy as a receptionist at a London newspaper, Anna finds herself spending two weeks with the very gorgeous journalist Ben McAra. With his dashing good looks allowing all the women employees to swoon and his ambition to continue in the journalist field, there wasn’t a bad bone to be found. As a character, Anna was a walking ball of light; she was so happy, uplifting and comfortable in her own skin. It was such a lovely input to include what other characters thought of Anna such as her neighbour, her work colleagues and a stranger in a coffee house who had all become her friends of some description. The whole sending of the parcels were a complete mystery and honestly, I didn’t mind who it was from because it made Anna happy and that made the book even more wonderful than it already was. (I was rather jealous of the owl brooch though!)
“By 8:30 a.m. the story was a full-blown viral sensation…”
Working in a building filled with journalists means a story is born every five seconds and when everyone gets wind of Anna’s mysterious parcels, the questions and suspicions come flooding in. Will she be betrayed by one of them, especially the handsome one or someone else? Either way, it’s pretty shocking. What wasn’t to my surprise was that despite all the backlash and drama, Anna had the very strong support system of her neighbours, friends and fellow employees – it was heartwarming to witness people coming together in order to help someone rather than stabbing them in the back.
“It can be easy, at times like these, to lose sight of the good. Not everything you’ve encountered is negative. Try to remember that.”
When the lavish work party allows the narrative to slowly draw to a close, Anna learns who the mystery parcel sender is and let me tell you: it’s probably the last person you will think of. Talk about not seeing that coming! Bravo Miranda. With the strong amount of beautiful description to characters who were picked to perfection to a plot which could very easily be a well-loved film, this is one of my favourite books of 2015 and one I’ll be recommending for a very, very long time.