Friday, May 5, 2023

The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer

Mikki Brammer's The Collected Regrets of Clover is a big-hearted and life-affirming debut about a death doula who, in caring for others at the end of their life, has forgotten how to live her own, for readers of The Midnight Library.

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.

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Expected publication May 9, 2023
 by St. Martin's Press
3.5/5 stars

This was a combination of book/audiobook thanks to the publishers.
Grief is just love looking for a place to settle.
This book has a unique theme, a death doula. I am vaguely familiar with that term, but finding it in a modern setting was something I didn’t expect.

A slow paced story, I mostly listened to the audiobook since it wasn't until the last third that things started to really grab my attention.

Clover is an interesting character, she has demons of the past which is reflected in her lifestyle.  Given her chosen occupation one would thing this would be a depressing and gloomy story.  But it isn't, I found it heartwarming that those without family or friends had someone with them in the end. 

There were parts of the story that just didn't resonate with me, aside from the slow pace.  Though she grew up sheltered, for someone who has traveled the world by herself and given her job I found her to be somewhat immature in both action and her thought life.  However, the audiobook is very well done, and without it, I might have given up on the book.

Overall, The Collected Regrets of Clover is a unique and heartwarming story that will appeal to many readers. While it may not have been my cup of tea, others have given it a higher rating, so it's worth checking out. The book is set to release next week, so keep an eye out for it.

My thanks to both Macmillan Audio and St. Martins Press for advanced copies in exchange for a honest review.

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