Shirley, Goodness and Mercy are three prayer ambassador angels who love going to Earth at Christmastime to help people who've sent prayer requests to heaven. Even though their boss, the archangel Gabriel, knows the mischievous trio are likely to get into a little trouble, breaking the rules, it's all hands on deck at the time of year when they receive the most prayers.
Mercy is sent to help Harry Alderwood, an elderly man who knows that his time on Earth is nearing an end. However, he can't go peacefully until he's certain that his wife, who's grown a bit forgetful, will be taken care of. He just needs a little help convincing her that moving to an assisted living facility is the best choice for her future.
Goodness is assigned to Beth Fischer, a divorced young woman, who still hasn't quite moved on nine years later. For the last few months, she's felt connected with another player in a popular online gaming community. They make the perfect partners inside the game world, which makes her wonder if they might be compatible in a more romantic context. But when they make plans to meet in the real world and she finds out who he really is, will she still feel the same?
Finally Shirley must help Carter Jackson, a young boy who wants nothing more than a puppy. His parents had promised him one for Christmas, but now, because of unexpected financial problems, they've changed their minds. When Carter finds a stray dog on the school playground, he just knows they're meant to be together, but convincing his parents of that is a whole different ballgame.
Together, the three angels will put forth their best efforts to make it a beautiful Christmas for each of their charges.
Where Angels Go is the sixth book in Debbie Macomber's Angels Everywhere series featuring the mischievous angel trio of Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy. The last couple of books in the series only had a single storyline that all three angels worked on together, but this one takes the series back to its roots with each angel working on a different case and occasionally coming together to offer advice. As always, the archangel Gabriel is overwhelmed with prayer requests during the holiday season, so he decides to send Prayer Ambassadors Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy to handle three of them. In the beginning this threesome often got into trouble, but over time, Gabriel has come to trust them more and rely on them in spite of the mischief they can sometimes get into.
Mercy is sent to work with elderly couple Harry and Rosalie. Harry has a bad heart and knows that his time on Earth is drawing to a close, and according to his doctor, it could be any day. With Rosalie becoming more forgetful, he wants to make sure that she's taken care of when he passes on. He's found a nice assisted living facility where many of their old friends now live, but convincing Rosalie to move out of the home they've shared for most of their lives is proving to be difficult. Harry asks for divine intervention to help Rosalie come to terms with it, so that he can pass on with peace of mind. This is a bittersweet little story, sweet because of how much Harry and Rosalie still love each other after all their many years together, but bitter because the life they've shared is about to end. I admired their devotion to one another and shed a few tears at the end even though I knew what was coming and it was rendered as gently as possible.
Gabriel receives a prayer request from Beth's mother that she'll be able to move on from her divorce and find a man to share her life with, and he tasks Goodness with making it happen. Beth got married young, and the couple's shared immaturity prematurely ended their union. However, despite nine years having passed, Beth still finds it difficult to move on and hasn't had much luck dating other men. For the last several months, she's been involved in online gaming, playing World of Warcraft, where she's found the perfect game partner. When her mother starts pestering her about bringing a guy home for Christmas, Beth starts to wonder if Peter, the man she's been playing the game with, could be a potential life partner as well. They begin sharing more personal information, and when she discovers that he lives in Seattle, too, they make plans to meet in person. But upon coming face-to-face, she realizes he's someone she already knows and isn't sure a relationship will work out after all. Out of the three stories in this book, this is the only one that has a more traditional romance plot. But despite that, I think it may have been my least favorite. It's not that I didn't like. I did, but somehow it seemed a little underdeveloped for a romance. The magic that the angels bring to the story made it a bit more believable, but IMHO, there still wasn't quite enough time for Beth and Peter to really come to a reconciliation. There also weren't enough pages to develop a deep emotional connection between them.
The final storyline is Shirley's. She's sent to Earth to answer the prayer of Carter, a little boy who desperately wants a dog for Christmas. His parents have been promising him one, but due to financial hardships, they've had to, once again, turn him down. Then Carter finds a stray dog on the playground at school, which he names Rusty. The dog miraculously follows him home, and he thinks that if he pleads his case, his parents might let him keep Rusty. Unfortunately his dad is adamant that Rusty will have to go to the shelter, but Rusty's heroic actions just might change his mind. This was a super-sweet story, that while somewhat predictable, ended up being my favorite. Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for animal stories and cute kids, but I found this one to be rather charming.
As always, Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy can't help themselves when it comes to their whimsical natures. They pull a couple of harmless pranks, all in good fun, but overall, they've matured as the series has progressed, learning to rely more on Gabriel and God when things aren't going according to plan. Overall, Where Angels Go was an enjoyable trio of stories that kicked off my holiday-themed reading nicely. I look forward to seeing what trouble they might get into next in the final book of the series, Angels at the Table, but I'll probably save it for next Christmas. Where Angels Go was originally published as a stand-alone book, but was later republished in the anthology, Choir of Angels, along with two other stories from the Angels Everywhere series.
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