Touched by Angels

New York City is always in need of divine intervention and this holiday season finds the always inspired and somewhat impulsive angels, Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy answering three heart heartfelt prayers …and teaching some important lessons along the way. And Goodness, along with Mercy and Shirley, know all three women have a lot to learn.

Brynn, a dedicated inner-city teacher, wants to make a difference in her troubled student’s lives; she wants them to learn to dream.

Hannah needs to learn to follow her heart, instead of always following her parent’s wishes.

And Jenny, a small town girl turned Broadway wannabe, needs to learn that home is where love is …..And so is Trey LaRue, the man who holds her heart.

It’s time for these three angels to prove that wishing on a star is more than just a pretty song.

Touched by Angels by Debbie Macomber is a sweet, heartfelt romance set in New York City during the Christmas holidays. While this is not a new story, it was originally released in 1995; Ms. Macomber updated the story to bring it more in line with today’s technology. And while there are three main characters, whose stories don’t overlap, they are tied together because of the interaction between the three angels.

In charge of angelic assignments, Archangel Gabriel, reluctantly assigns Goodness, Mercy and Shirley to three young women in New York City. Shirley, against Gabriel’s instructions, takes on Brynn Cassidy, a young inner city teacher determined to make a difference in the life of her students. Goodness takes the case of Hannah Morgenstern, a young Jewish woman, whose mother and grandmother have prayed for a good marriage for her. And Mercy takes on Jenny Lancaster, a small town girl whose dreams of making it big on Broadway are in conflict with her desire to go home. While Gabriel gave them instructions, nothing goes exactly according to his plan. Shirley, Goodness and Mercy have a way of doing things on their own.

Brynn Cassidy works in a touch inner city school; she’s caring and kind with her students but knows she has to be tough if she’s going to make it in this environment. While Shirley does her best, she’s really in over her head. Brynn is determined to help her students learn about the power of having dreams and a good education. Even as Roberto Alcantara, the older brother of one of her students, thinks she’s in over her head. But Brynn doesn’t give up, not even when she faces a tragedy. While not everyone in the story has a happy ending, the budding romance between Brynn and Roberto is a happy occasion.

Used to pleasing her family, Hannah Morgenstern needs to learn to follow her heart. While Hannah is almost engaged to Carl Rabinsky, a rabbi’s son, she’s not really sure about what she wants. While she knows he’ll make a good husband, she finds herself attracted to Joshua, another young man she knows. While Goodness supplies some divine guidance, and personally roots for Joshua to be Hannah’s choice, it’s almost not enough as Hannah really has trouble making up her mind. While this story was a little slow, and I was a little frustrated with Hannah’s indecision, I thought it was a nice touch for Ms. Macomber to include Jewish characters in what is basically a Christmas story, it made the story different.

When Jenny Lancaster left Montana, she was determined to make it on Broadway. While she’s found an apartment and made some new friends, the closest she’s come to Broadway is her job as a singing waitress. Missing Trey LaRue, her boyfriend back home, Jenny Is torn….should she go home and be with the man she loves or continue chasing her dream. Of all three angels, Mercy had the easiest charge of all. Jenny really just needed a push to follow her heart.

Overall this is an enjoyable and light holiday story. It’s become a holiday tradition for me to read one of Ms. Macomber’s holiday stories and while this year I started a little bit late, I’m happy to say it’s a tradition I plan to keep going. And looking ahead, it looks like there will be a new angel story this year.

Book Blurb for Touched by Angels

New York City is always in need of miracles . . .

And this Christmas is no exception. Thank heavens the divinely inspired, if somewhat ditsy, angelic trio-Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy-is available to answer three heartfelt prayers this sacred holiday season . . . and to impart important lessons along the way. And Goodness knows (as do Mercy and Shirley) that the three lonely women to whom they've been assigned have a lot to learn: A dedicated inner-city school teacher, Brynn needs to teach her troubled students how to dream . . .

Shy and dutiful Hannah must learn to follow her own heart . . .

And frustrated small-town-girl-turned- Broadway-wannabe Jenny needs to discover that home is where love truly lies.

It's time for the angels to shine . . . and to prove once again that when you wish upon a star, you get much more than just a pretty song!

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2012 3.50