Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.
Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.
With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.
While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.
If only there are precise books on “How to Raise the Perfect Teenagers” then any parent would have invested in those self-help books and somehow raising teens can be a breeze. But every teen is different as every parent is. Relationships between parents and their children run along different roads ending up different paths.
There are a lot of novels written along the same lines that the family drama trope can either draw more readers due to its relatability or tagged as overused and redundant that it loses its charm. But family drama as a literary genre has already established its thematic map. Readers love the conflicts and the resolutions thereafter. “Regretting You” by Colleen Hoover takes the readers to the conflicts that come to light after a tragic accident placed a mother and her daughter’s relationship to the test. A mostly common trope but one that resonates with mothers and how raising a child was both a struggle and a fulfillment. Morgan and Clara’s narrative sheds light on how a mother finds the strength to raise her only daughter despite the pain and anguish she had to endure while shielding her daughter from the bitter truth of her husband’s accident.
This novel stretches out beyond the mother and daughter relationship but the subterfuge with which a betrayed partner had to face. We get to look at how Morgan’s predictable character made her question her initial choices and sacrifices. How she wished she could have done things differently. Hoover’s differing characters are the heart and soul of this novel.
POV, Writing Style, & Atmosphere
The author made use of an alternating first-person point of view shifting between Morgan and Clara. Hoover’s writing style is straightforward but her emotions are raw and earnest. The humorous exchanges and dialogues are done just right rarely an attempt at cloying to the point of being nauseating. A combination of light and heavy scenes were alternately done to balance the atmosphere.
- Coming of Age
- Mother and daughter relationship
At its core, “Regretting You” is a masterfully told novel that explores the complex journey of Morgan and Clara as they find themselves at odds with each other after the tragedy that left them forever scarred. It is a narrative that reminds us how flawed and disapproving mothers are but also forgiving and brave. It brings about the fact that parents cannot always expect their children to turn out the way they wanted them to be just as children cannot expect their parents to be perfect. But what the author drives at with her novel are the sacrifices that Morgan had to endure both as a wife and a mother. Hoover takes us to the realization that there are no perfect marriages and no absolute formula for raising children. Communication is part key and acceptance and forgiveness are necessary in order to move forward. Overall, this novel is an act of love; one that makes us question our choices and principles despite our good intentions, but love ultimately collects the broken pieces together.