Father Greeley offers his second Christmas tale (after 2004's Star Bright!). Pete and Mariana have been in love since grade school, but when Pete runs away, eventually joining the army, he abandons his small-town life and becomes a hero. During his third deployment in Iraq, he is injured in a bomb attack and finds himself in limbo, surrounded by angels who convince him to head back to finish his life and make it up to his sweetheart. For Greeley fans and holiday fiction collections.
Father Greeley's blarney-soaked latest (Irish Tweed, 2009, etc.) teaches that heaven can wait. An undersized, self-acknowledged geek as a schoolboy on the outskirts of Chicago, Peter Patrick Kane grows up to be extraordinary, to be a hero, to eventually pin the Congressional Medal of Honor on his no-longer-scrawny chest. Changed as he is, Petey Pat's love for Mariana Pia Pellegrino, ignited in the second grade, seems immutable. There are, however, obstacles, and parental objections on both sides force the lovers into divergent trajectories. Beautiful, brainy Mariana Pia becomes a high-powered lawyer, Petey Pat a courageous soldier, much admired and respected by his comrades in arms. On his third deployment in Iraq, a roadside bomb explodes and Captain Petey Pat, gallant to the end, dies with Mariana Pia's name on his lips. Or does he? Certainly the docs on the spot are convinced. Not so, the "deceased" will eventually argue. For nine-and-a-half minutes he'd simply gone a kind of AWOL, he insists, describing an extraterrestrial journey during which he dropped in on "The City" for an interesting encounter with the One-or the One in Three, or the Boss, or God, if you will; He goes by all those names in the angelic community. Their chat (stage-Irish turns out to be heaven's lingua franca) proves amiable, despite the fact that angles are clearly being worked. Playing Cupid for reasons best known to Himself, God attempts to imbue Petey Pat with a sense of mission concerning Mariana Pia. Slight though it be, thereby hangs the tale. Furnishing the recently dead young soldier with his marching orders, the One says, providentially, "See you later, Petey Pat."Readers who wince at the very thought ofPetey Pat as a grown man's name should probably look elsewhere.
This book should be in every bedside table and in every soldier's packa transcendent tale to rank with A Christmas Carol.” David Hagberg, New York Times bestselling author
“Few writers have what it takes to make God a character in fiction, but Andrew Greeley pulls it off with charm and élan in this delightful love story.” Stephen Coonts, New York Times bestselling author
“Warm-hearted, but clear-sighted about the human condition, Home for Christmas is a lovely book. These are characters you will carry with you.” Barbara D'Amato