A Gracious Plenty by Sheri Reynolds
A Novel

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In the lush and isolated cemetery of a small Southern town, Finch Nobles, the narrator of this brilliantly inventive novel, tends to the flowers and shrubs that surround the monuments of people who were not known to her while they lived but who in death have become her lifeline.  

Badly burned in a household accident when she was just four, Finch grows into a courageous and feisty loner.  She eschews the pity and awkward stares of the people of her hometown and discovers that if she listens closely enough, she can hear the voices of those who have gone before. Finally, when she speaks, they answer back, telling their stories in a remarkable chorus of regrets, explanations, and insights. But the infant Marcus, son of the town's mayor, died before he learned to speak and can only wail away the hours. The roots of his anguish are revealed in a crescendo of lasting resonance that ties together the outcast Finch, her dead friends, and the living community outside the cemetery's gates.

With prose that is spare, yet richly poetic, Sheri Reynolds creates a vision of a world that is at once fantastic and palpably real. She teaches us that neither our capacity to suffer nor our ability to be healed ends with the grave--and that love is all we have.  A Gracious Plenty is a reading experience you will not soon forget.

"A triumph of story, voice, and character. The afflicted and unforgettable Finch, whose longings inspire in equal measure love and awe and pity, who seeks to understand the difference between the kind of suffering brought upon us and the kind we bring upon ourselves, defies mortality. Stunning and authentic . . . this is a beautiful book."        
--Janet Peery, author of The River Beyond the World

About Sheri Reynolds

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Sheri Reynolds teaches writing and literature at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Her previous novels are Bitterroot Landing and The Rapture of Canaan.
Published September 8, 1997 by Crown. 205 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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As Finch sees it, in a passage that resounds with Francis Phelan's view into his dead son's grave in Ironweed, The Dead possess unique powers and knowledge: ``The Dead control the seasons.

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Publishers Weekly

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But Reynolds's lyricism and the gentle voice of her heroine carry this poignant but redemptive story of an emotionally and physically scarred woman who finds her way out of the land of the dead and into the land of the living.

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Entertainment Weekly

B+ Originally posted Sep 05, 1997 Published in issue #395 Sep 05, 1997 Order article reprints

Sep 05 1997 | Read Full Review of A Gracious Plenty: A Novel

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