God decides to close up shop on Earth -- unless two idealistic angels can make a miracle happen
Welcome to Heaven, Inc., the grossly mismanaged corporation in the sky. For as long as anyone can remember, the founder and CEO (known in some circles as "God") has been phoning it in. Lately, he's been spending most of his time on the golf course. And when he does show up at work, it's not to resolve wars or end famines, but to Google himself and read what humans have been blogging about him.
When God decides to retire (to pursue his lifelong dream of opening an Asian Fusion restaurant), he also decides to destroy Earth. His employees take the news in stride, except for Craig and Eliza, two underpaid angels in the lowly Department of Miracles. Unlike their boss, Craig and Eliza love their jobs - uncapping city fire hydrants on hot days, revealing lost keys in snow banks - and they refuse to accept that earth is going under.
The angels manage to strike a deal with their boss. He'll call off his Armageddon, if they can solve their toughest miracle yet: getting the two most socially awkward humans on the planet to fall in love. With doomsday fast approaching, and the humans ignoring every chance for happiness thrown their way, Craig and Eliza must move heaven and earth to rescue them - and the rest of us, too.
New Yorker humorist Rich sets up his second novel (after Elliot Allagash) like one of his Shouts & Murmurs pieces. The conceit this time: God truly created man in his own feckless image: With that whole mankind thing? the CEO of Heaven Inc. admits, I bit off way more than I could chew, and decides to destroy the Earth and finally realize his lifelong dream of opening an Asian-American restaurant. Only Craig and Eliza, two angels working in the Department of Miracles, seem to care, so God tells them if they can answer just one prayer in a month, he ll keep the Earth open for business. Unfortunately, the challenge is to unite Sam Katz and Laura Potts, two pining, painfully shy 23-year-olds living blocks apart in Manhattan, acquaintances whose chance encounters, so far, have been worse than when Lincoln gets shot. Prohibited from doing anything the humans could perceive as supernatural, the angels meddling is restricted to dream-work, iPhone hacking, traffic signal tampering, weather manipulation and, in overweight Sam s case, a botulism attack. But at month s end, the two like Craig and Eliza in their own budding romance must make their own moves. Humanity depends upon it.