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The Collected Regrets of Clover ~ A Book Review

When you come to the end of your life, which of these do you think will resonate with you the most:

  1. REGRETS – There are things you wish you would have done differently.
  2. ADVICE – There are some great things you have learned along the way that you feel are important to share.
  3. CONFESSIONS – There are secrets you kept that you feel you should finally reveal.

That’s enough to make you ponder for a bit…am I right?  You might even find yourself thinking you fall into more than one category.  According to Clover, most people really tend to focus on just one when they know they are nearing death.  Let’s dig in to my book review of Mikki Brammer’s ~ The Collected Regrets of Clover.

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Meet the Characters ~

  • Clover Brooks – Main character – Death Doula
  • Patrick – Clover’s Grandpa
  • George – Clover’s dog
  • Lola & Lionel – Clover’s cats
  • Leo – Clover & Patrick’s neighbor
  • Mr. Hyland – Clover’s kindergarten teacher
  • Ms. Lucas – School principal
  • Miss McLennan – Babysitter of Clover
  • Julia & Reuben – Neighbors across the street
  • Sebastian – Attendee at Death Cafe
  • Sylvie – new neighbor
  • Miss Bessie – Bookstore owner
  • Claudia – Sebastian’s Grandma
  • Selma & Joyce – Claudia’s aides
  • Allegra & Phil – Moderator’s at The Death Cafe
  • Tabitha – attendee at Death Cafe
  • Priya – Short term friend in 10th grade
  • Guillermo & Abigail – two of Clover’s clients
  • Hugo -Claudia’s long lost love
  • Hugo – grandson of Hugo

Plot of The Collected Regrets of Clover ~

Clover is a woman who has grown up a loner.  She experiences death a the tender age of six when she witnesses her kindergarten teacher suffer a heart attack.  Not long after, she is sent to live with her grandfather due to her parents being in an accident.  She spends many happy years with her grandfather until losing him as well.  Knowing all too well the sadness of death, she then becomes a death doula, aiding others in the transition from life to death.

So much time is spent comforting others in the end of life process that Clover doesn’t realize that she herself has forgotten how to live!  As she slowly learns to let others in, she realizes that life really can be a beautiful thing.  We feel pain along the way, but the love and happiness are worth the struggles.

Death Cafes ~

Death cafes are an organized meeting where people discuss death over food and drink.  Did you know these actually exist?  I, personally, did not.  However, I think it is such a wonderful idea.  When I first heard the name my thoughts went to something dark and a bit quirky.  I have since researched them, and I now realize that they can be a very helpful tool for various reasons.  We even have one in my city!  Do you have one where you live?

Clover visits different death cafes around New York City.  Careful not to follow any particular schedule as she does not want to become a regular and have to participate in small talk with others who visit the same ones regularly.  This is one of Clover’s numerous ways to interact with people while still staying reclusive.  Little does she know that ultimately it will lead her down the path to some very interesting new “friends.”

Death Doula ~

Just as a doula or midwife assists in bringing new life into the world, a death doula assists in the dying process.  I had never considered this but my eyes have been opened through reading The Collected Regrets of Clover.  Dying can be a lonely and difficult process whether you have family around you or not.  Clover is a very meticulous and conscientious person that cares deeply about her work.

While Clover is every bit of an introvert, when she is working her true personality comes out.  The relationships she forms with those who are dying are very special.  I found myself thinking many times, if only Clover would open up to people who are not dying she could have some amazing friends.  I cringed at times when she worked so hard to not be noticed.  It is very easy to fall in love with her character and  want her to find happiness.

Analogy of a Matchstick ~

Who doesn’t love a good analogy?  As many children will do, Clover asked her grandfather, “Why do people die?”  Grandpa Patrick ponders for a minute and then begins explaining the many different stages of a matchstick.  Where are we going with this you ask?  Matches in a matchbox are all initially made the same.  When struck, some burn a long time while others burn out earlier due to different circumstances….wind, match breaks, or maybe it never even burns to begin with.  Just as we never know how long a match will burn the same can be said about a person’s life.  I just really like this analogy….how about you?

Closing Thoughts ~

When Clover finally opens up a bit she starts to discover that life indeed can be a wonderful thing!  She finds herself traveling across the country to help an old lady who is dying find her long lost love.  Does she get there in time?  I’m not going to share that with you, but I will say that it is just possible that she finds her own happy ending in the process.  Seriously, you need to read this book!

Book Club Questions ~

  1. After reading this book, will you ever visit a Death Cafe?
  2. What other analogies can you come up with to explain death?
  3. Do you ever find yourself rejecting others before they can reject you?
  4. Clover believes that people get frozen fashion wise in a certain era (usually from the age of their 30s to 40s).  What will your glory days be?
  5. Tabitha in one of the Death Cafes asks the group, “If you could know the date of your death in advance, would you want to?”  What are your thoughts about this?
  6. Sebastian has a fear of death due to his upbringing.  How do you feel your upbringing has affected your views on death?
  7. Clover finds it difficult to connect with people once she tells them what she does for a living.  Do you feel it is socially acceptable to discuss death?
  8. Do you feel there is an acceptable amount of time to grieve?
  9. Clover tries to honor those she has helped die by living out their regrets or taking their advice.  What are your thoughts on this?
  10. Would you feel comfortable having a death doula assist you or a family member?

Book of the Month Club ~

My daughter, Karleigh, blessed me with a membership to this for my birthday.  What a PERFECT gift for bookworms.  Have you checked it out yet?  You choose your books at beginning of the month and they get shipped directly to you.  Their spotlight on books is great as well…so helpful in finding new and interesting reads.  I have only had this subscription for 1 month and loved the book they recommended….yes….it is this current book you are reading about right now!  I am not an affiliate of them currently….but am working on it as we speak.  Here is a link to check Book of the Month Club out!

More Reading Choices ~

Are you as curious about death cafes as I am?  I think I am just surprised that I have never heard of them until reading The Collected Regrets of Clover.  Of course, being the curious person I am, I had to look up books that talk more about them…

Also, have you been looking for some new reads to share with the littles?  Be sure to check out my post, 33 Favorite Reads for Kids for some all time favorites!

Happy Reading Friends ~



This post may contain affiliate links which means I receive a small commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase.


  1. Lydiah

    Yeah death is inevitable and that’s where everybody heads. Like the grandfather told clover about matches on matchbox which lit at different levels

    • Shelly Latinovich

      Death is indeed a tough conversation….I think it is good to find good analogies to help with the discussion!

  2. Riyah Speaks

    Wow this is a interesting boook indeed. I try not to think about death because I find it morbid, but seeing this review does make me ask a few questions.

    • Shelly Latinovich

      It really was a much better book than I had anticipated!

  3. titlesandjotters

    It’s such a hard topic to approach. Thanks for sharing this review and insight

    • Shelly Latinovich

      Yes! It is indeed a difficult topic. Thanks for reading my post!

  4. Debbie

    I just found the next book on my summer reading list! I’m intrigued to learn more about Clover and her journey!

    • Shelly Latinovich

      Yay! I would love for you to let me know your thoughts when you are done reading it! Clover is a wonderful character!

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