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The Collected Regrets of Clover

—Pub Week BOOK REVIEW— Title: The Collected Regrets of Clover Author: Mikki Brammer Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Genre: Contemporary Fiction Do you go into books blind or are you one to read the synopsis and reviews?? I’m probably a little bit of both, but because I selected this book as an upcoming title I was excited about and talked about it at the Epigraph Literary Festival and on a @bookfriendsbookclub Happy Hour/Coffee Talk, I had read the synopsis a couple times. So, when it says the main character Clover, was being sent on a road trip across the country, I kept waiting. Really it was a good ways through the book before she went on a 7 hour, barely overnight trip from NYC to Maine. 🧐

So, you’re probably thinking this means my expectations weren’t met!? Wrong. I loved Clover. She was bright, charming, quirky, albeit awkward, introverted girl focusing on death when everyone else is focusing on life. Death came natural to her since she had a front row seat at five of her Kindergarten teacher dying; then he parents at six leaving her to be raised by her grandpa. Then her grandpa passed while she was away traveling for college research and she was so bothered by him being all alone that she decided to stop doing research and become a death doula. I think along the way she decided to punish herself by staying alone too. Poor Clover!

“The secret to a beautiful death is living a beautiful life.”

I love a coming-of-age story and it was somehow even more endearing watching a 36 yo women go from being relatively alone and letting people slowly into her circle.

“At least when you’re alone, there’s no risk of getting hurt. After all, you can’t lose something you don’t have.”

She stumbles with friendships and relationships, but who doesn’t!? That’s where true courage comes in.

“Yeah, but I think it’s time I pushed myself outside my comfort zone again. That’s where all the best things always are, right?”

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Four solid stars. Full of wisdom. I couldn’t stop tabbing this book. I think the sign of a great author is how well the secondary characters are written and I loved the whole cast in this book. This is the author’s debut novel (though she’s written for magazines) and I think she is a fresh voice in the contemporary genre. Yes, this book talks about death, but don’t be afraid and don’t think it’s sad. I enjoyed the ending. Perfectly executed. Hopeful.

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