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I'm looking for a book I read about 10 years ago. It was a paperback (fiction) ghost story of sorts except that it wasn't horror. Ghosts weren't the real focus of the story. The story was set in America, could be the Midwest or the South. The main character was a woman who I think wasn't that beautiful. She was a loner. She could either see or talk to spirits/ghosts. These ghosts were not at all menacing. They helped her maintain a garden or cemetary. I hope this is ringing a bell for someone.
Could it be A Gracious Plenty by Sheri Reynolds:
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 graveÑand that love is all we have. A Gracious Plenty is a reading experience you will not soon forget.