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The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer
Contemporary fiction

The Collected Regrets of Clover

Debut

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Mikki Brammer, on your first book!

by Mikki Brammer

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Quick take

Prepare to shed a couple tears for this moving, inspirational story about a death doula learning not to fear living.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance

    Romance

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Inspirational

    Inspirational

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Roadtrip

    Roadtrip

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Nyc

    NYC

Synopsis

What’s the point of giving someone a beautiful death if you can’t give yourself a beautiful life?

From the day she watched her kindergarten teacher drop dead during a dramatic telling of Peter Rabbit, Clover Brooks has felt a stronger connection with the dying than she has with the living. After the beloved grandfather who raised her dies alone while she is traveling, Clover becomes a death doula in New York City, dedicating her life to ushering people peacefully through their end-of-life process.

Clover spends so much time with the dying that she has no life of her own, until the final wishes of a feisty old woman send Clover on a trip across the country to uncover a forgotten love story—and perhaps, her own happy ending. As she finds herself struggling to navigate the uncharted roads of romance and friendship, Clover is forced to examine what she really wants, and whether she’ll have the courage to go after it.

Probing, clever, and hopeful, The Collected Regrets of Clover turns the normally taboo subject of death into a reason to celebrate life.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Collected Regrets of Clover.
The Collected Regrets of Clover

1

The first time I watched someone die, I was five.

Mr. Hyland, my kindergarten teacher, was a cheerful, tubby man whose shiny scalp and perfectly round face reminded me of the moon. One afternoon, my classmates and I sat cross-legged on the scratchy carpet in front of him, enthralled by his theatrical telling of Peter Rabbit. I remember how his meaty thighs spilled over the edges of the child-sized wooden chair he sat on. His cheeks were rosier than usual, but who could blame him for getting excited over a good Beatrix Potter plot?

As the story reached its climax—when Peter Rabbit lost his jacket fleeing the evil Mr. McGregor—Mr. Hyland stopped, as if pausing for emphasis. We stared up at him, hearts thumping with anticipation. But instead of resuming his narration, he made a sound similar to a hiccup, eyes bulging.

Then, like a felled redwood tree, he toppled to the ground.

We all sat motionless, wide-eyed, unsure if our beloved teacher was just upping the ante on his usual dramatic storytelling. When he hadn’t moved after several minutes—not even to blink his open eyes—the room erupted with squeals of panic from everyone.

Everyone except for me, that is.

I moved close enough to Mr. Hyland to hear the final push of air from his lungs. As the pandemonium echoed down the hall and other teachers rushed into the classroom, I sat beside him, holding his hand calmly as the last blush of red disappeared from his face.

The school recommended I get counseling following the “incident.” But my parents, who were more than a little self-absorbed, noted no significant change in my behavior. They bought me an ice cream, patted me on the head, and—reasoning that I’d always been slightly odd—judged me to be fine.

Mostly, I was fine. But I’ve wondered ever since what Mr. Hyland would have liked his last words to be if they hadn’t been about the antics of a particularly naughty rabbit.

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Why I love it

I’m the type of person who doesn’t buy myself flowers because the thought of them dying in my apartment makes me unbearably sad. So a book all about death and grief wouldn’t typically be my first choice. But Mikki Brammer takes the world’s scariest subject and makes it life-affirming and so full of real emotion I couldn’t help but fall in love with this story.

Clover Brooks works as a death doula, helping people reach the end of their lives with dignity and respect. As someone who sits at many bedsides, it’s not death that scares her—it’s the regrets the dying leave behind. In her quest to avoid having any regrets at all, she ends up avoiding just about everything and anyone that could make life exciting. But those closest and most fond of Clover see her in all her beautiful complexity no matter how hard she tries to hide herself, teaching her in the process that beginnings can be just as important as endings.

I went into this book knowing it would probably make me cry (spoiler: it did). But I wasn’t expecting to reach the end full of hope and excitement at being a human in this big, messy world. The Collected Regrets of Clover is a debut novel that serves as an important reminder that grief and love are two sides of the same coin, and life would be far less meaningful without both.

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Member ratings (14,936)

  • Cory S.

    Pittsburgh, PA

    Beautiful. I don’t know how else to describe this book other than absolutely beautiful. It’s an emotional journey filled with death, grief, love, hope, and finding yourself. Don’t miss this!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Morgan S.

    Albuquerque, NM

    I loved this book! It is a beautiful story about death, grief, and life. “The secret to a beautiful death is living a beautiful life.” A great message about living your life to the fullest. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Siddhi G.

    Jupiter, FL

    A life affirming look at mortality❣️ Visceral and poignant. The honest and relatable heroine brings us on a quiet heartbreaking journey. “Be cautiously reckless.” Highly recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Helena C.

    Chino Hills, CA

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This story pulled at my heartstrings! Clover is messy but lovable and relatable. This a great story and a great reminder to live with no regrets and “be cautiously reckless” 😉

  • Haley I.

    Orchard Lake, MI

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ a book that truly inspires, questioning life in the most positive way. The only flaw is I wanted to keep reading… I wish there was a sequel, as I was not finished with the love story.

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