A Parcel for Anna Browne
By Miranda Dickinson
An inspiring and enchanting novel from Sunday Times bestseller Miranda DickinsonTweet
The heroine was hard to identify with: what a goody-goody! And I guessed who sent the parcels... Boo.
A benefactor with seemingly psychic empathy starts sending Anna Browne, a conscientious and introverted receptionist, luxurious gifts. Predictably, receiving anonymous parcels has mixed blessings and despite initially feeling good about being in the limelight, there are skeletons that Anna would rather leave in the closet.
Early on, and still with about 350 pages to go, some of our reading group had guessed the identity of the mystery philanthropist. We discussed the height of the reception desks in London tower blocks and whether the staff behind them were really visible enough that you could spot a new brooch at twenty paces. Anna’s friendly colleagues seem uncharacteristically enthralled by and attracted to each new addition to her appearance. It was disappointing at the end when the mystery gift giver is revealed but there is no explanation as to why she chose the gifts that so resonated with aspects of Anna’s past life – we felt that perhaps Anna read some special meaning into what were in fact very random presents
This was an easy-to-read, unmemorable adult fairy story. A good holiday read perhaps but on the whole not for our group
Average score 4/10
The Hunstanworth Book Group read this novel over the Christmas period, which was a good time to read about gifts and surprises - and a happy ending, which is not too much of a surprise given the cover and the genre.
Anna Browne grows in confidence as anonymous gifts arrive which as well as bringing up memories of her past also help her to find hidden strengths.
Quite a long novel - some book group members did think it could have been condensed - but with a feel good factor.