Review

Angels at the Table: A Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy Christmas Story

by Debbie Macomber

Our favorite meddling but well-meaning trio of angels is back! This latest adventure stars our old friends Shirley, Goodness and Mercy, who bring along the apprentice angel they are mentoring when they visit New York. The new angel-in-training, Will (from "Surely, goodness and mercy will follow you…), incites even more antics than the three usually experience as they accompany him on his first visit to Earth. The three advanced Prayer Ambassadors rationalize their trip (cautioning Will that it might be better if he didn't mention their unofficial visit to Gabriel), claiming they must introduce him to Earth and the humans he eventually will help. He is enchanted by Earth, New York City, and the humans who are currently flocking to celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square.

"The angels' antics are a hugely hilarious and entertaining bonus to a warm love story. For the perfect respite from the holiday frenzy, allow me to prescribe this delightful antidote to be taken cuddled up by a roaring fire while sipping a steaming cup of peppermint tea."

Shirley, Goodness and Mercy warn Will not to speak to any humans, but Goodness petitions the others to let him at least go down to mingle with the crowd if Will promises not to chat with anyone. Of course, Mercy is yearning to mingle with the people who fascinate her, too. She zooms down, calling to Will to follow her. Within a crowd of unhearing humans, Mercy explains many facts about Earth to Will. She tells him about the celebration for a new year, which is incomprehensible to someone from heaven where time means nothing, and explains why the streets here are not gold. They are distracted, though, when Goodness's shadowy yet extremely angel-like form appears on the jumbo screen, causing the crowd to believe they've seen a sign from God. The angels' little excursion is starting to devolve into chaos, but the true craziness has not begun yet.

The senior angels suddenly notice, as the clock strikes 12, that Will has vanished. They need to find him before he gets into trouble in the mass of hugging, kissing humans…but it's already too late. Mercy watches helplessly as Will uses his wing to nudge two strangers, causing them to stumble into each other.

Lucie Ferrara has become separated from her friends in the jubilant New Year's Eve crowd. What is she doing here? She would rather be at home, cuddled up with a good book, but her mother and friends persuaded her that she needed to get out and have fun. It's true that Lucie has been working hard. She not only is a busy chef but, together with her mother, is setting up her own restaurant. However, watching couples hug and kiss each other only makes her wish even harder that she stayed home. Suddenly, something shoves Lucie…directly into a handsome man, who also seems to be standing alone.

When he suggests they engage in a traditional New Year's smooch, she can't resist. She discovers that Aren Fairchild is quite the find. They go out for coffee and chat for hours. Lucie is intrigued when she hears that Aren is new in town, recently hired as a reporter for New York Gazette. He is perfect for her, yet she hesitates when he wants to see her again because she believes she is too busy with her new restaurant to start a relationship. He offers a suggestion: she should think about the possibilities ahead of them for a week, and then meet at the top of the Empire State Building to give him an answer. Lucie warns him that she might not come, but she could never guess the twists, turns and detours that lie before them. Can a little heavenly interference help smooth the way?

Author Debbie Macomber's zillions of fans know that she is a natural storyteller who creates a cast of likable characters in intriguing situations --- and ANGELS AT THE TABLE demonstrates this talent. The angels' antics are a hugely hilarious and entertaining bonus to a warm love story. For the perfect respite from the holiday frenzy, allow me to prescribe this delightful antidote to be taken cuddled up by a roaring fire while sipping a steaming cup of peppermint tea.

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on November 16, 2012

Angels at the Table: A Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy Christmas Story
by Debbie Macomber

  • Publication Date: October 22, 2013
  • Genres: Fiction, Romance
  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0345528883
  • ISBN-13: 9780345528889