3 Sentence Summary
Regretting You by Colleen Hoover is a deeply moving story about the intricate dynamics between a mother, Morgan, and her daughter, Clara. Through alternating perspectives, the novel explores themes of love, regret, and the complexities of family relationships. Colleen Hoover’s authentic writing style and relatable characters make this a poignant and heartfelt read that will leave a lasting impact.
Summary Read Time: Less than 6 minutes
Actual Book Length: 363
First Published in: 2019
Below is the detailed yet quick Regretting You summary:
“Regretting You” initiates with a vivid flashback of Morgan, a 17-year-old lass, spending her summer with her beau, Chris, her sister Jenny, and Jenny’s boyfriend, Jonah. Morgan is more than a sister to Jenny, offering motherly guidance while silently admiring Jonah’s precocious maturity. Amid the swirling summer haze of Chris and Jenny’s vices, Morgan uncovers she is carrying Chris’s child.
Leaping seventeen years forward, we get introduced to Clara, the teenage offspring of Chris and Morgan. One afternoon, she stumbles upon Miller Adams, a classmate left stranded roadside. Clara lends him a ride home, unknowingly igniting Miller’s interest. He spins a web of lies to his girlfriend Shelby about Clara, and then starts following her online.
The narrative then shifts focus to a 34-year-old Morgan, who along with Jenny is orchestrating her birthday dinner. Amidst preparations, Jenny reveals her impending nuptials with Jonah, their past tinged with abrupt breakups and hasty reconciliations that resulted in her pregnancy.
While the family enjoys their meal, revelations about Clara’s encounter with Miller and her acting dreams surface. Chris’s stern disapproval isolates Morgan, pushing her to announce her decision to revisit college later that night. Post-dinner, a heartwarming tradition unfurls as mother and daughter craft a vision board, with Morgan aspiring to unearth her passion. With the onset of a new day, Clara’s budding crush on Miller is revealed, and as Jenny resumes work, Morgan steps in to care for her nephew, Elijah.
One day, Morgan’s world shatters when she gets news of Chris’s accident. Arriving at the hospital, she’s taken aback to see Jonah and learns about Jenny’s presence in the accident too. A puzzle begins to form as to why Chris and Jenny were together. Trying to shield Clara, they concoct a story involving a flat tire. Yet the harsh truth seeps through, Chris and Jenny didn’t survive.
In the accident’s wake, guilt consumes Clara, accusing herself of distracting Jenny. Miller, showing up at the funeral, finds comfort with Clara and they escape together for a clandestine smoke. Amidst her grief, Morgan fights suspicions of an affair between Chris and Jenny until Jonah uncovers damning evidence at a local hotel. Doubts about Elijah’s paternity start swirling in Morgan’s mind.
In a fleeting moment of normalcy, Clara sneaks off to the movies and chats with Miller, who’s working there. A crisis jolts them later that night, as Jonah, grappling with doubts about Elijah’s paternity, leaves him with Morgan. Morgan steps up, caring for Elijah until Clara convinces Jonah to resume his responsibility, prompting an apology from him.
Fast forward two weeks, Clara’s avoidance of home escalates due to constant disputes with Morgan over Miller. After learning about Miller’s break-up, Clara spends more time with him, culminating in a shared kiss when he confesses his long-standing crush. Back at home, Morgan and Jonah debate revealing the truth about Chris and Jenny to Clara and Elijah. A protective Morgan insists on keeping it secret. After Jonah’s exit, Morgan finds herself reflecting on her past feelings for him and the heartache of his abrupt departure years ago.
Clara and Miller’s public display of affection at school the next day takes Morgan by surprise. An ensuing argument with Clara leaves Morgan stressed, leading her to pick up Elijah from daycare. Later, Jonah stumbles upon letters from Jenny to Chris while searching for tools, adding more layers to the existing secrets. After an intense session of catharsis over Chris and Jenny’s deception, Morgan and Jonah nearly share a moment, only to be interrupted by Clara. Jonah’s inquiry about Morgan’s feelings ends in a heated exchange when she avoids responding.
For a week, Morgan sidesteps Jonah’s calls, while Clara and Miller’s relationship intensifies. An unwell Elijah brings Jonah and Morgan together over dinner, leading to a frank conversation about past liaisons and unresolved feelings, culminating in a passionate kiss. Clara, unfortunately, stumbles upon them, sparking off a chain of misguided actions. She seeks solace in Miller, which results in a distressing encounter filled with misinterpreted motives.
The morning unveils more turbulence – a neighbor reports a broken window screen, leading Morgan to find Miller in Clara’s bed. Their subsequent confrontation sets a tense tone for Clara’s 17th birthday. In school, she takes her anger out on her phone, yet finds a soothing presence in Jonah. An unexpected birthday dinner with Jonah and Miller ends in drama, forcing Clara to seek refuge with her friend, Lexie.
While Clara is with Lexie, Morgan takes the opportunity to bare her feelings to Jonah, culminating in their shared passion. Upon returning home, she finds Clara and Lexie in a drunken state. Care for her inebriated daughter brings forth Clara’s guilt over the accident, offering Morgan a glimpse into her daughter’s burdened heart.
The day following Clara’s birthday is marked by honesty and support. Clara yearns for her mother’s acceptance and truthfulness, leading to the revelation of Chris and Jenny’s affair. In the face of Clara’s distress, Morgan turns to Miller for comfort. Their return to the movie theater signifies reconciliation, and Clara voices approval of Morgan and Jonah’s relationship. The night ends with Morgan discarding unread secret letters, a symbolic release from the past.
Fast forward a few months, and Clara and Miller’s film submission is screened for their friends and family. A heartwarming promposal from Miller to Clara follows, the perfect end to the evening. Miller receives encouraging news about his inheritance and potential future in film school, a hopeful note to round off their journey.