The Collected Regrets of Clover
An uplifting story about living a full, beautiful life
by Mikki Brammer
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Pub Date 06 Jul 2023 | Archive Date Not set
Penguin General, Viking
A big-hearted story about figuring out what we really want from life - and finding the courage to go after it.
Put your heart out there. Let it get broken. Take chances. Make mistakes . . . Let yourself live.
Clover Brooks has always felt a stronger connection with those at the end of their life than in the middle of it. She dedicates herself to ushering people peacefully though their final days, working as a death doula in New York City. Her client's last words are collected in three treasured notebooks, neatly labelled: ADVICE, CONFESSIONS and REGRETS.
Then she meets Claudia: a woman who has had the kind of life that Clover hasn't dared imagine for herself. But even Claudia has one regret. Now, with only an old love letter, a road map and a leap of faith, Clover begins her first adventure...
‘Such a wonderful premise, beautifully executed. I fell in love with Clover, longed for her world to open up and cheered when she finally realised that comfort zones are designed to be stepped out of. Poignant and ultimately uplifting, I loved it.’ - Jill Mansell
‘A beautiful, uplifting novel about unexpected friendship, a decades-old love story, and finding the courage to live your best life.’ - Lucy Diamond
'A tender, charming delight, perfect for anyone who loved The Authenticity Project or Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine' KJ Dell'Antonia, The Chicken Sisters
'This book will be one that I remember for a long time' Ruth Hogan, The Keeper of Lost Things
'Warm, profound, and expertly told, The Collected Regrets of Clover explores how befriending death can help enrich our lives. This is one of those special books that will leave a handprint on your heart' Emma Brodie, Songs in Ursa Major
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Average rating from 61 members
This book deserves to be a bestseller! I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time. Not a sad book about regrets, but insight into living life well.
From a young age, Clover wasn’t a typical kid. Losing her parents at six, she is raised by her scholarly grandfather with outings to the bark park to observe dog behavior, and afternoons at the bookstore. She never learned how to play and interact with other kids, and by age 37, she still feels uncomfortable in society.
As a death doula, Clover sits with the dying helping to make the journey easier. Most people when dying reflect on life with regrets, confessions, or advice. Clover has 3 separate journals which she carefully transcribes the final words into the appropriate journal. Clover is still grieving her grandfather’s death after many years, and although her life is surrounded by people expressing regret for not living life more fully, she is unable to take their advice. Avoiding personal encounters, she escapes into 90’s romcoms over and over. Fortunately for Clover, Slyvie, a vivacious new neighbor, cracks through Clover’s walls of self protection and insecurity. For the first time in her life, Clover has a friend. It’s a real treat experiencing Clover’s emergence, and I think everyone can pick up some insight. As one very special dying man said to Clover as he lay dying, “The secret to a beautiful death is living a beautiful life.”
Many thanks to netgalley and Viking for this advance copy, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend.
What an absolutely glorious, warm book that encourages us all to not just be alive, but to really live. I adored the character of Clover who as a death doula is more comfortable in the land of the dying, than the living. In fact she deliberately separates herself from the living as a protective barrier against her emotions. The dying don't stick around long enough to make lasting relationships,and participating in the living world has become exhausting for her. As she shepherds people.out of this world, Clover carefully records their regrets, advice and confessions, in notebooks, and attempts to put right their wrongs, and live out their advice. It's all just wonderfully human and honest.
Anyone who has experienced grief will find this book deeply comforting, and realistic. As an ex emergency services worker, on more than one occasion, I've been the last person to hear someone's voice, and the only person to witness their death. This book touched me to my core, and has in all likelihood helped heal some of the trauma I experienced in that occupation. I cried, and I healed, and I'll continue to be cautiously reckless. What a wonderful book!
The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer is a charming but never saccharine book that really will warm your heart while also gently kicking you in the butt in an attempt to inspire you to live your life to the fullest.
Clover is a quiet, solitary woman who works as a death doula In New York , providing support and companionship to those nearing the end of their lives. At home in the apartment that she once shared with the grandfather who raised her from the age of six, she curls up with with her dog and records their last words in one of three notebooks , Advice, Confessions and Regrets. Each day she picks a page from one of these books at random and tries to follow the advice or make up for one of the confessions or regrets as a last remembrance of her client. She is reasonably contented in her life of isolation but still sometimes wonders about what might have been if her life had been different. When her latest client, Claudia ,a woman in her nineties with only weeks to live , admits that despite an amazing life filled with travel for her work as a photo journalist before she settled down, married and had a family, she has one regret that she has lived with for decades, Clover is determined to try to make it right. Claudia confesses that she met the love of her life on one of her last photo assignments in France , but because she was already engaged she left him behind and came home to New York. With only an old love letter to go on Clover embarks on a quest to find out what happened to Claudia's great love and along the way she starts to realise that she cannot live in the past, she needs to open herself up to what the future may hold and live life to the fullest.
This is a book that moves at a gentle pace and one where characters take priority over plot. There is a story that runs through the book and it is well told but it was the characters that made me want to keep reading, and not just Clover and Claudia, but all of the other more secondary characters who were so well written with an attention to detail that I really admired. The title and subject matter might make it seem like this is a sad book, but in fact it is anything but, it is uplifting and full of hope and I really hope that it gets the success it deserves.
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own,
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