Book review: A Parcel for Anna Browne by Miranda Dickinson

22 Sep

a-parcel-for-anna-browne-978144727605001Anna 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?

If you’ve read my earlier posts today you’ll know already that I think A Parcel for Anna Browne is a really special book but now I want to tell you exactly why I enjoyed reading it so much. I’ve always been a fan of magical books and I love the idea that we can find magic every day if we know where to look for it and that’s the exact sentiment that Miranda Dickinson has captured perfectly in her latest novel.

Anna Browne works as a receptionist for a national tabloid newspaper in London. By all accounts her life is unremarkable but that’s the way she likes it. Anna takes comfort in the anonymity of the big city; she likes her little flat, her small group of friends and the routine of her job. The Anna that we meet as the novel opens is very much in her comfort zone and happy to be there. Then one day she receives a mystery parcel that makes her feel unequivocally special and that’s when the magic begins.

I loved how the beautiful and thoughtful gifts that Anna received made her think about herself in a different light and in turn influenced her to be more confident and do things that she wouldn’t have thought herself capable and it was wonderful to see how she changed as a character as the story played out whilst remaining true to herself.

One of the things that I liked most about Anna is that she is a nice person and that Miranda celebrated that; in a world where being friendly and ‘nice’, especially in the workplace is often met with cynicism or even seen as a negative quality, it was lovely to read a book where the lead character was allowed to believe that the world can be a magical place and there doesn’t have to be a sinister ulterior motive to everything!

There’s cynicism and suspicion aplenty though from Anna’s colleagues at the paper. Miranda has created a varied and believable supporting cast with some great characters each with their own views and theories on the mystery parcels and who the sender might be. I particularly liked conspiracy theorist and head of security Ted; Anna’s elderly neighbour Isadora and friend Jonah (got to love a Yorkshireman!). Chief reporter Ben will certainly set hearts aflutter and I enjoyed trying to guess where the romance thread of the book would go as Anna has a number of potential suitors as the story progresses.

Although this is a substantial read at 500 pages, I thought the story flew by and like Anna, I couldn’t wait to see what would be in the next parcel and to find out who was behind them. Miranda throws in some clever twists and even a little visit to beautiful Cornwall as the suspense builds and although I was eager to find out who was behind Anna’s surprises, I didn’t want the story to end!

A Parcel for Anna Browne is the complete package; a treat of a read sprinkled with romance, magic and mystery and just perfect for cosying up with this Autumn.


I’d like to thank the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

Find out more about Miranda and her writing at:



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