Vanguard Spotlight Book of the Month: April 2024

Monthly Reads from ASU-Beebe Students, Faculty and Staff.

ASU-Beebe Book Favorites

Each month Abington Library will feature a favorite book from a faculty, staff member, or student. They will give a brief synopsis of their chosen book. Instructions can be found on the instructions tab or at

Featured ASU-Beebe Staff Member: Catherine Burton

About Catherine

Catherine Burton is the Director of Advising and Learning at ASU-Beebe. She has worked here for 12 years, and is serving on the Enrollment Management and New Student Orientation committees.






About the Book

A Gracious Plenty by Sheri Reynolds

Reviewed by Catherine S. Burton


Your truth may not look like mine, but that is not what matters. What matters is this. You can look at a scar and see hurt or you can look at a scar and see healing. Try to understand.

"A Gracious Plenty" is a beautiful Southern Gothic story about how life isn't always beautiful. The main character, Finch, was burned badly as a child and leads a life as a loner. She is considered an outcast even in the small town where she was raised. She tends the graveyard on her family's land, just like her father did before he passed away. Interestingly, as the caretaker, Finch can communicate with the dead. 

In this story, the dead remain in the graveyard to deal with their unfinished business until they eventually "lighten" and move on. They help each other work through the baggage that they've carried through life and make peace with their past. The dead are also responsible for the weather and the seasons. Each of them has a job, and our seasons would not continue on track without their support. The author does an amazing job describing how some of the dead are strong enough to pull winds and move clouds, while others that are lighter are responsible for helping the flowers bloom. It's a perfect analogy for how people impact our lives, sometimes without us even knowing.

As Finch befriends the dead, she learns invaluable lessons about life, secrets, judgment, mistakes, and regret. The people she thought she knew while they were alive are not what she had pictured. She learns that there is a depth of character to every person that isn't always shown or accepted. 


This has been one of my favorite books for years. I'm partial to the southern small-town setting, and I can relate to growing up in that environment. I love how the author combines whimsical, and sometimes dangerous, elements of weather with the harsh reality of humanity. 

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