The Collected Regrets of Clover
by Mikki Brammer
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Pub Date 09 May 2023 | Archive Date 23 May 2023
"This weird, lovely and sweetly satisfying novel [is] engaging and accessible...Clover’s emergence from a shuttered life is moving enough to elicit tears, and Brammer’s take on death and grieving is profound enough to feel genuinely instructional." ––The New York Times Book Review
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 is perfect for readers of The Midnight Library and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine as it turns the normally taboo subject of death into a reason to celebrate life.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 621 members
A wonderful celebration of life from the perspective of a death doula. The Collected Regrets of Clover is charming, surprising, and utterly compelling.
Clover is 36. She lives in NYC and spends most of her time working as a death doula, helping people who are dying find some solace in their final moments. She is lonely but does not necessarily want the company of others. Her only friend is her neighbor Leo, a man in his 80s. When a new neighbor moves into her building, an opportunity to form a friendship and broaden her horizons opens up. At the same time, Clover is immersed in her latest job, during which she bonds with Claudia, a former photojournalist with terminal cancer. Now, Clover finds herself reflecting on how she has been living and what she wants to do to make the most of whatever time she has left.
I adored this story and read it in one sitting as I was completely drawn into Clover’s world. It stands out as one of my favorite reads of the 200 books I’ve read so far this year. I have no doubt this novel will be a well-deserved bestseller when it releases in May 2023. Clover is one of the most lovable and sympathetic literary characters I have encountered and it was a pleasure to follow her and cheer her on as she learns more about what she wants out of life.
Thank you very much to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this amazing debut.
I'm very happy that I took a chance on this debut novel that is somewhat out of my wheelhouse. The author did a great job bringing the characters to life, and I found many of the issues related to end of life very thought-provoking. Although the book could have been depressing, it was handled in a way that was more life-affirming. I appreciated that the events of the book took unexpected turns. This unique book has left me with lots to think about, and I think it will stay with me for a long time. I believe the book would be a great choice for book discussion groups, and I highly recommend it.
This was a wonderful book about death and how people grieve. All people process things differently and Clover, a death doula, helps people not be alone as they pass from this life to another. Finding friendship and love in the end really kept me going to see what would happen next for Clover.
Quirky and whimsical, with a heroine you root for and a compelling plot! I loved the pacing and story, and sympathized with Clover throughout her journey. Very feel-good and makes you want to live life to the fullest.
What an amazing journey of discovering oneself. I love Clover. I think there is a bit of Clover in all of us. Clover is a Death Doula. This was new to me but what a fascinating career. To share peoples last word and give such comfort to those passing over. It helped me to not be so afraid of death and really trying to connect and have open conversation about it. I enjoyed watching Clover move from being quite alone to discovering herself and the wonderful woman she could be. This book has it all, friendship, first love, grief, self discovery and so much more. I enjoyed the author’s flow of writing and the book played in my mind like a movie.
Phew! This book! The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer was a stunning and heartbreaking novel surrounding a death doula. Death has surrounded Clover Brooks since she was a young girl. But maybe death isn't only about grief and sorrow. Perhaps it can be about celebration and life, as well!
Charming and unexpected, The Collected Regrets of Clover follows 36-year-old Clover’s life as a death doula in New York City. Her whole life revolves around death, until she learns how to open up and live without regrets.
This is literary fiction at its finest. Brammer does an incredible job of creating and establishing an intriguing cast of characters and bringing them through a beautiful, poignant story, with so many lovely surprises. I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this debut!
Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.
I loved this book. I liked Clover and liked that it was in first person because I really enjoyed seeing the world from her perspective. This book could have been depressing if written by another author. But instead, it was touching, and at times light and humorous, and hopeful. It also had a lot of life lessons. I really enjoyed watching Clover grow in her journey. I know I will be thinking about this book for a long time and I will miss the characters. I definitely recommend this book and will be looking for more by this author in the future.
This is such a beautiful examination of what we forfeit when we allow hurt and feeling we don’t fit in anywhere to close us off to the possibilities of life. I’m exceedingly grateful to Net Galley and St Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this ahead of its summer 2023 release. I predict I will be thinking about this story and these characters and the possibilities for my own lonely, small life for a very long time.
The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer is a great contemporary fiction that I really enjoyed.
This is a story that delves into finding one’s purpose, and one’s place in life. It is also a story of second chances at life and that it never too late to seek and find happiness.
Thank you NG and St. Martin’s Press for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.
I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 5/9/23.
"It wasn't just the regrets of the dying people I was trying to resolve- it was my own"
Orphaned at a young age and always a bit quirkier than those around her, Clover Brooks now works as a death doula in New York City. Losing those closest to her and knowing they died alone, she now spends her days and nights bringing solace and companionship to those in their final moments. For years she has kept journals detailing her career's experiences. The dying's last words, advice, final moments and moods, and most important of all--their regrets. Determined to not let their life's regrets be in vain, Clover tries to work their regrets into her life. A means to right a wrong. In doing so she begins to find regrets of her own. Whether fully intentional or not, she has devoted her entire life to giving others a beautiful death and in turn has denied herself of a beautiful life in the process. Clover is single, never had a serious relationship in her almost 40 years--or even a kiss, and her closest companions are her pets and 87 year old neighbor, Leo. While visiting one of the cities various death cafes, Clover has a chance meeting that leads her to a client who will help her not only reflect upon her past, but will ultimately change the course of her future.
Happenstance. Serendipity. Fate. Call it what you will, but life has a way of giving you just what you need exactly when you need it. This story is written so beautifully & is not only a story death, but one of life! The Collected Regrets of Clover definitely has moments of sadness and despair, but it is ultimately a story of hope. I went into this book blindly, not sure what to expect. Several times while reading I got Evelyn Hugo vibes and was pleasantly surprised at every turn of the page. Five stars!
Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for a ARC in exchange for my honest review. Publishing May 9 2023
Wow wow wow! I’m speechless.
Ok this is an incredibly well written and beautiful story. It is heartbreaking. Honestly not my regular genre but definitely a top read of the year for me.
I was completely absorbed amongst the pages and dear Clover's life. Clover hit very close to home for me. She is one who chose to live her life by observing much more than engaging. As one who does the same, I get it. We are simpatico, Clover. I see you! I am you! Of course, it leads to a small life, and that totally works for some people...until it doesn't. Clover chooses a profession in which she can help people with grace and dignity to the end of their lives. She keeps several notebooks with words of wisdom and regrets that her clients have expressed so that they are not forgotten. And she does her best to honor those words by putting the advice and regrets into actions. It's a beautiful thing, really. This story just made my heart sigh and when I turned the last page, it made me look at my own life and maybe take away a lesson or two myself.
Where do I even begin?! I was initially hesitant to read this book as someone who has always been uncomfortable discussing death, but it really made me pause and take stock of my feelings and fears. Clover is such an honest, raw character and I was surprised at how much I related to her despite thinking we are opposites. Unlike some books where events or endings might feel overexaggerated or unrealistic, I felt like everything in this story happened when it should have. I honestly don't think I would change a thing.
I love the death doula and death cafe facets especially given it’s an area I’ve been investigating - the role it played in both narrative and characters. I was emotionally invested from the first page and beyond the turn of the last page.
My favorite character is undoubtedly Clover because she’s beautifully flawed. She has an unbelievable sense of self and knows so much more than she gives herself credit. Bottom line she’s imperfectly perfect and grows as her story unfolds along with her experiences. Overall, this book was captivating and truly a favorite. Memorable, I thoroughly enjoyed my reading experience. Unobtrusively beautiful. Definitely looking forward to more of this caliber from Mikki Brammer.
Wow, this is the best book I have read in 2022 so far. This book will be published in May of 2023 but I am so grateful to have received an ARC. Thank you to St Martin Press and NetGalley for this incredible book. The description is what caught my eye. Death Doula? What? So Clover is almost 40 women living in New York City with the occupation of a Death Doula. So this is a new occupation for me but I found it fascinating to think about. The book is not really what I had envisioned from the description but it was so much more. We follow Clover through her daily life and see why she does what she does. We come to understand why Clover is the way she is and we get to see how through her client's final words Clover is changed. I just fell in love with Clover. I learned a lot about life from her wonderful insights. I love how Mikki Brammer writes. It reads like a movie in my mind and flows so well. It's hard to believe that this is the first book for Mikki. I hope there are more books to come.
This book hooked me in from the first page. I was immediately drawn to Clover. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book in which I identified with the main character so deeply. I understand what it feels like to have been (essentially) raised as an only child and the profound loneliness that comes with it. I can empathize with the social awkwardness of trying to make a friend when you have none.
The plot ended up being sort of a “slow burn” but watching Clover learn to trust herself and take a few risks while healing from her own grief was worth it.
Wow. I loved this book! Rarely do I feel compelled to highlight or flag certain paragraphs - but with this book there were so many nuggets of wisdom I wanted to capture and remember. This is also a book I wanted to talk about and dissect with others! I think it would be a really nice book club pick as it inspires deep reflection.
This is a beautiful and captivating story, and I didn't want to put it down. I loved Clover and her character development - I empathized with her as she navigated friendship, family, grief, and love. I will definitely be recommending this book, especially to those navigating their own journey with grief and loss. I appreciated how this book offers a different perspective on navigating death - I wish more people were open to discussing it. The more we put it in a box that can't be talked about, the scarier it is!
I really enjoyed this book and flew through it in less than 2 days. The book tells the story of Clover Brooks who becomes a death doula after her grandfather dies alone while she is traveling. She is quirky and clearly does not know how to have a relationship with someone who isn't actively dying. The writing flowed and the characters were not just likeable but relatable. It touches on some deep points and makes you think about how you would reflect on your life at the end. This is a really great debut novel and I can't wait to read more from this author.
I adored this book and it was incredibly well written. Clover, while having quite the unusual profession in her dealings with death, is a relatable main character that I was rooting for the whole way through from her first real adult friendship, to her first real kiss. Every reader can draw inspiration from her journey from being completely buttoned up to living a cautiously reckless, well lived life. I’m looking forward to reading more from author Mikki Brammer in the future!
Clover doesn't realize that in trying to hang on to her grandfather's memory, she gave up living her own life. Trying to make sure that no one was ever alone while dying in her job as a death doula, never allowing herself a chance to live, just held her in place for years. Lucky for her, she met some very special people that pulled her out of this pattern!
This is a lovely and sweet book. I loved that the author--and her protagonist--pushed back against all of the tropes people use today to motivate themselves and to create their lives. Instead, this is a book about a woman who helps the dying spend their last days as they want, and how she untangles the complex feelings of personal grief she has, and becomes happier by challenging herself in ways she learns from her clients. This will be a great read for book clubs, but there's also something to be said for reading it as a solitary reader, and thinking about Clover's records and our own desires for the ends of our lives, and how we can learn to talk about those.
What a remarkable debut novel by Mikki Brammer! The Collected Regrets of Clover tells the story of Clover Brooks, a death doula, making her life in New York City. This well-written book explores the grieving process and the journey to move forward with the living. Although you would expect a morbid story, Brammer explores death with vigor!
Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press, for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own.
This was my first book to read by this author but won't be my last! The story and its characters will stick with you long after you finish the story. Highly recommend!
There aren't enough words to describe how much I loved this book. Clover was such an incredible character. I loved her vulnerability and honesty and how real she felt. Her struggles with anxiety were very relatable. I loved learning about death doulas and their roles across various cultures and religions. This was such a great read and I've already told so many friends and family members to put it on their TBRs for 2023!
This was a beautiful book — thank you so much for the pleasure of reading it in advance :)
It was emotional and thoughtful with well-developed, lovable characters, and a meaningful message. Truly everything I look for in a book, and can't wait for the official publication!
It’s been a really long time since I read a contemporary romance that got me giddy and excited to read each chapter but The Collected Regrets of Clover renewed my love of romance books.
Clover is a one of a kind main character that is overflowing with interesting qualities and with many outstanding side characters, this book held my attention every single time I picked it up.
This book surprised me. Our protagonist is Clover, a death doula and a bit of a loner. Despite the fact that the story deals with a profession of death and grief, Brammer was somehow able to create a story that was still very much uplifting and insightful, as well as captivating and though provoking. Her ability to balance all of these in a story is beyond impressive.
I thought Clover was perfect. Her interactions with people felt genuine and I couldn’t help but root for her. The ending also surprised me and I loved it. For fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
It is rare that I read a book and find myself marking passages because the writing really touched me. This is one of those books. The Collected Regrets of Clover tells the story of Clover, whose parents died when she was 6 and she was raised by her grandfather. Since that early age, she was very interested in death, so much so that she studied Thanatology (the study of death and practices associated with it - I had to Google it!) and works as a Death Doula - similar to a Birth Doula but helping folks as they die. Clover is 36 and a loner but she realizes she needs to take risks and open herself up to new experiences. Two of the quotes that touched me the most were about grief: "The truth is, grief never really goes away. Someone told me once that it’s like a bag that you always carry—it starts out as a large suitcase, and as the years go by, it might reduce to the size of a purse, but you carry it forever." and also about how we view our parents: "It’s so easy to see your parental figure through that lens alone, to think that their existence has always revolved around yours. But before they were parents, they were simply human beings trying to navigate life as best they could, dealing with their own disappointments, chasing after their own dreams. And yet we often expect them to be infallible." No spoilers about this amazing story, just a recommendation to read it.
A big "thank you" to NetGalley and the Publisher for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
A sweet, poignant, and unique novel. Clover is a death doula who has collected the regrets and advice of her patients. Trying to apply their life lessons, she still has a hard time getting out there and living her own life,. I loved the character of Clover: introverted, compassionate, observant, awkward, and I enjoyed seeing her development over the course of the book. If you liked Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine or The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, you'll enjoy this.
Magnificent! Inspiring! Thought provoking! Loved this book and would read it again. Clover is in her mid thirties and lives in New York in the apartment she shared with her Grandfather until his death. She is a death doula possibly because she was not with her Grandfather when he died. She is a loner, no friends except for a friend of her Grandfather. She loves just reading in her apartment and rarely leaving the house, except when she has to go to a client. Through her interactions with her clients before they pass, Clover learns some life lessons. She begins to think of a life outside herself. Following her journey was inspirational.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This story really touched my heart. I was hesitant at first, unsure if I would like a book about a person who was a death doula. (It's a real thing. Look it up.) I imagined that it was going to be dark and sad, but I was soon proven wrong.
Shifting between present day and when she was a little girl, the main character, Clover, helps to usher people forth in death. She keeps journals to document their final ADVICE, CONFESSIONS, and REGRETS. We soon learn that this gentle introvert has regrets of her own. With the help of friends, a therapist, and some introspection, Clover works through some of her own issues and may even find love.
Fans of contemporary fiction and romance are sure to love this story. It is a great debut novel by this author and I will be eagerly awaiting the next one. My sincere thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin"s Press for giving me the opportunity to read and review a digital ARC of this novel. Publication: May 9, 2023.
I absolutely loved this book and could not put it down. It is a very unique and fascinating read that deals with a profession I knew very little to nothing about. It is beautifully written and the author has you feeling every emotion. Highly recommend!
Thank you to net galley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.
Everything in life hits me a little different since my mom passed away November 8, 2022 but WOW- book was especially poignant for me and should be a must read for all people. I didn’t really understand grief until I was forced to experience it. I didn’t appreciate how everyone experiences it differently and how it doesn’t just “go away”‘with the passing of time.
This book is such a beautiful tribute to death but also to LIVING- taking chances, chasing dreams. So many of us end our lives with regrets, but this is such a wonderful reminder that we don’t have to. We can live a life that brings fulfillment and satisfaction.
I loved everything about this. Well written, excellent characters. Perfection.
This story has a powerful message and is very thought provoking. Well done.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Five stars with tears in my eyes!!! The Collected Regrets of Clover follows Clover, a death doula in New York City, on her journey of self-discovery and grief. She provides comfort and helps them come to terms with the end of their life so they are not alone as they pass. After each person, Clover files their last words into one of three categories: advice, confessions, and regrets.
In every aspect other than her career, Clover feels quirky and misplaced. Growing up as an only child who lost her parents, her one connection was her grandfather. He passed away, but Clover truly never processed her grief. She struggles to maintain friendships and her social anxiety holds her back from being fully engaged in her own life. Her own grief and regrets hold her back and isolate her in a city so full of people and life. Can she process her grief and build a life she really wants?
Mikki Brammer's debut novel left a lasting impression on me - I highlighted so many passages that I know will stick with me for years to come. I became attached to Clover as a character and her perspective resonated with me as a reader. Her journey as a character was touching, as she found people who understood and appreciated her on her journey to overcoming her own regrets and grief. The Collected Regrets of Clover was beautifully written; I'm excited to reread and read future books by Brammer!
"Grief plays tricks on you that way - a familiar whiff of cologne or a potential sighting of your person in a crowd, and all the knots you've tied inside yourself to manage the pain of losing them suddenly unravel."
"One young creative life blossoms as another one ends; there was something beautiful about the tenuous reality of being human."
Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Nikki Brammer for an eArc to read and review with my own thoughts and opinions!
Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy of THE COLLECTED REGRETS OF CLOVER by Mikki Brammer. I really enjoyed this beautiful story about making the most out of life and death. I'd never heard of a death doula, Clover's profession, but learning about it was really interesting. The best part was definitely just seeing Clover's character growth from being so isolated and grief-stricken to learning how to create a life she wouldn't have to regret when she died. The ending was so inspirational and filled with so many great little quotes: "Grief is just love looking for a place to settle," and "The secret to a beautiful death is to live a beautiful life," and many more. I loved it!
I absolutely loved this book. It hooked me and kept me turning pages until I was done. Finished it in two days! The character development was strong, and the premise was unique enough that it didn't feel like anything else I've read.
This is a gem of a debut novel and I think it's one of my favorite reads of 2023 so far!
I had no idea that a book about death could be so beautiful and uplifting but that is what Mikki Brammer has created with this story about Clover, who works as a death doula in NYC.
From the first chapters I was hooked and completely engrossed in the life of Clover as we alternate between the present day and key periods of her childhood and young adulthood. Clover has always been a loner and struggled to fit in with her peers. We go on a very emotional journey with Clover as she works to figure out who she really is and what matters to her. The ultimate journey to a life lived without regrets.
I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading future books by Mikki Brammer.
Thank you NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for sending me an advance copy of this book for review consideration.
This is a beautiful book! I was very emotionally invested in this one and enjoyed it from start to finish.
5 Beautiful Stars
Wow, I loved this wonderful debut novel by Mikki Brammer! It has everything I look for in a book. I learned new things, the characters were well drawn, and I was presented with much to think about. And it was so heartfelt. The beautiful cover, the title, and the presence of an epilogue earn this one extra points as well.
Clover is a death doula. I never knew exactly what a death doula did. I thought they came in at the very end to be with people who had no family. There is a lot more to it than that, and I’d like to find more books featuring this intriguing subject. There are many fully developed likeable characters, especially Clover, her grandpa, Leo, and Claudia. My favorite is Clover—a character I will likely never forget. Most importantly, and what I liked best are the many words of wisdom about how to navigate a fulfilling and meaningful life. Some of the quotes are priceless. These are words that come from Clover’s clients and the few people that came into her lonely life. I cannot share any of these lovely passages as this is a review of an advanced copy. However, many of these quotes are already available on the author’s Goodreads page. I found the last two chapters and the epilogue especially inspiring, and I will be thinking about what was presented for a very long time.
This book is different. It is also memorable, engaging, thought-provoking, and brings out all the feelings. I cannot recommend it more highly.
I would like to thank Ms. Rivka Holler of St. Martin's Press, Net Galley, and Ms. Mikki Brammer for an advanced review copy. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
This is by far my top read of 2023 so far! Clover is no stranger to death, but she hasn’t quite figured out life yet. Clover’s experience with death in her personal life, and then in her career as a death doula provide a unique perspective of death that drew me in from the very beginning. There were many lines in this novel that I deeply connected with and that challenged me to think about my own views regarding life and death. I loved Clover’s character development over the course of the novel and appreciated her insights. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction with honest and thought-provoking characters