perFICTIONists

For All Kindred Spirit SoulCollagers
Who Love Meaningful,
Thought-Provoking Fiction


No commitment necessary…
Come to one, all or just a few of our Zoom sessions. This is different from ordinary book club discussions!

Our Zoom gatherings will include screen sharing, large group discussion, writing or creativity prompts, and possible breakout-room sharing. We’ll also utilize SoulCollage® references and processes that will enable us to reflect on the personal meaning that each novel has for us.

 Explorations led by Anne Marie Bennett & Guest Facilitators.
Join us if you feel so led! 
Zoom links will be in your member weekly issues of Soul Treasures.

The perFICTIONists gatherings are for KaleidoSoul Kindred Spirits members only.  If you’re already a member, you’ll see the Zoom info in your weekly issues of Soul Treasures.  If you’re NOT a member yet, you can join Kindred Spirits here.

Our Next perFICTIONists Gathering

Sunday April 14, 2024
7 – 8:30
PM Eastern
Live in a different time zone?  Check your start time here.

The Collected Regrets of Clover
by Mikki Brammer

fb collected regrets of clover

“This weird, lovely and sweetly satisfying novel engaging and accessible…Clover’s emergence from a shuttered life is moving enough to elicit tears, and Brammer’s take on death and grieving is profound enough to feel genuinely instructional.” ––The New York Times Book Review

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. 

 

Find It On Bookshop.org (supporting independent bookstores)

Find it on Amazon

Find it on Goodreads

How to Prepare

1. What to Bringcollected regrets

  • Journal and pen
  • Any favorite quotes from the book
  • Any SoulCollage cards or images that pertain to the themes in the book, or to how the book made you feel

2. Preview Discussion Questions :

This a book about death. But the discussion around death in the book is a little different than what you might be used to.
Following a Death Doula named Clover, the book joins our protagonist on a journey to find out what it means to live.
centering around a typically taboo subject, this book is a big-hearted celebration of life! Read it and let us know what you think!

Discussion points and questions

  • Clover believes that one of the reasons that death is such a scary topic for people is because no one really talks about it in Western society. Were you apprehensive about reading this book because it was about death? How did you feel about the topic once you had read the book?
  • When Grandpa died, Clover was diagnosed with ‘chronic grief’ because she hadn’t ‘gotten over’ her grief within six months. Why do you think this diagnosis bothered her so much and do you think that grief should be seen as a finite thing to be overcome?
  • Even though Clover is seen as a ‘loner’ by society, she is actually quite emotionally intelligent and good with people. Why do you think this disconnect exists? Why is it so hard for her to connect with people outside of a professional context?
  • Sebastian states that his fear of death came partly from his religious upbringing. How did your upbringing and family traditions shape your feelings about death and mortality?
  • What do you think are the most important lessons Clover learned from her clients about how to support someone who is grieving or dying?
  • Clover tries to learn from other people’s regrets but ignores most of her own for much of the book. What are some of your own regrets that you’ve been avoiding that you might be able to learn from or take action on? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do?
  • When Clover does finally acknowledge her regrets, one of them is that she regrets ‘living out of habit’. What does that mean?
  • Clover binge-watches movies as a kind of coping mechanism to numb her feelings of loneliness and isolation. Do you think this is a healthy thing to do or is there a better way she might deal with those uncomfortable emotions?
  • Leo tells Clover that the secret to a beautiful death is living a beautiful life – putting your heart out there, letting it get broken, taking chances and making mistakes. How would you define what it means to ‘live a beautiful life’?
  • If today were your last day on earth, which of Clover’s three notebooks – Advice, Regrets, or Confessions – do you think you would end up in and why?
  • Clover believes that ‘I love you’ is one of the hardest things for people to say, and Sebastian also tells her that no one in his family ever says it. Why do you think it’s so difficult for some people to say ‘I love you’? Are there other ways in which it can be expressed?
  • Claudia tells Clover to be ‘cautiously reckless’. What do you think she means by that?
  • Several characters discuss the concept of seeing someone ‘in the next life’ and that perhaps we meet the same souls in each lifetime, resolving different things each time. What do you think about this? Is there someone you’ve met and felt like you might have known them in a past life?

Group Norms

  • Sessions will start on time, so please do plan to Zoom in 5 minutes early so you don’t miss out!
  • Sessions will run between 60-90 minutes, depending on the book.
  • There will be no formal breaks, but feel free to step away on your own as needed
  • Come ready to share and listen.
  • Make your best effort to complete the book, but know that it’s okay to join us even if you haven’t.
  • Sessions won’t be recorded and will not be available after the live event.

Discussion Etiquette

  • Direct your comments to the group, not just the moderators; back-and-forth exchanges with each other are encouraged.
    The One Who Loves to Read
  • Differences of opinion can be healthy and are to be expected.
  • We can agree to disagree and respect each other’s opinions.
  • Oprah, who knows a bit about book clubs, emphasizes that such gatherings are not therapy. While life experiences influence your interpretation of what you read and what you share, our purpose is to examine the novel, not your psyche.

Please do:

  • Aim to have a good time!
  • Use “I” language when sharing.
  • Sharing is voluntary but encouraged.
  • Pay attention to suggested response times when sharing.
  • Support your opinions with reasons why or details from the book.
  • Respect others’ opinions.
  • Feel safe to disagree, but politely and tactfully.
  • Debate points in nonjudgmental ways.
  • Stay on topic.
  • Aim to have a good time!

    Please don’t:

  • Interrupt or talk over others.
  • Monopolize the conversation or ramble on.
  • Criticize or make wrong the opinions of others

The perFICTIONists gatherings are for KaleidoSoul Kindred Spirits members only. If you’re already a member, you’ll see the Zoom info in your weekly issues of Soul Treasures. If you’re NOT a member yet, you can join Kindred Spirits here.

Upcoming 2024 perFICTIONist Discussions
Dates & Times To Be Announced

Sunday January 14 @ 4 pm Eastern – When Women Were Dragons, by Kelly Barnhill  https://knopfdoubleday.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/WWWD-Reading-Group-Guide-1.pdf

Sunday April 14@ 4 pm Eastern-  The Collected Regrets of Clover, by Mikki Brammer

Thursday July 11 @ 5 pm Eastern- The Matchmaker’s Gift, by Lynda Cohen Loigman

October- TBA

Looking for Something ELSE to Read?
Here’s what we discussed in previous years…

2021

The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix Harrow
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessey, by Rachel Joyce
Calling Me Home, by Julie Kibler
Illuminations, by Mary Sharratt

 

2022

Wish You Were Here, by Jodi Picoult
Brave Girl, Quiet Girl, by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
We Are Not Like Them, by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza

 

2023

Bernice Runs Away, by Talya Tate Boerner
The Measure, by Nikki Erlick
Remarkably Bright Creatures, by Shelby Van Pelt
The Book of Longings, by Sue Monk Kidd

 

2024

When Women Were Dragons, by Kelly Barnhill
The Collected Regrets of Clover, by Mikki Brammer
The Matchmaker’s Gift, by Lynda Cohen Loigman