The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer explores the beauty of life through the lens of a death doula. Read my review.
Mikki Brammer’s novel The Collected Regrets of Clover explores the life of Clover, a death doula whose devoted service to others has left her forgetting how to live her own life. This touching story explores themes such as loneliness, fate, and the power of vulnerability. It’s a story about the importance of self-care and the need to embrace change in order to truly live. I quite enjoyed this book for the most part, but I only gave this debut 3 out of 5 stars – find out why below.
What is the book about?
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 struggles to navigate the uncharted roads of romance and friendship, Clover is forced to examine what she wants, and whether she’ll have the courage to go after it. [Goodreads.com]
As much as I enjoyed The Collected Regrets of Clover, I had issues with a couple of aspects. Clover’s journey toward self-discovery and personal growth should evoke empathy and compassion from readers, but I found her incredibly frustrating. She seemed grating and immature for her age, even for someone as emotionally stunted as she was. I also thought her romance with Sebastian was unnecessary; if that component had been removed from the novel, I would have given it a higher rating.
Despite my distaste for Clover and Sebastian, The Collected Regrets of Clover’s remaining protagonists are so well-defined that they alone make the story worth reading. Mikki Brammer manages to make every other individual seem real and engaging. I’m excited to read Brammer’s next book, and this is a book I wholeheartedly recommend.