52 pages 1 hour read

Colleen Hoover

Regretting You

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2019

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Summary and Study Guide

Overview

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover chronicles the turbulent relationship between Morgan Grant and her teenage daughter Clara. Published in 2019, Regretting You is a #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller. Written from the alternating perspectives of both Morgan and Clara, Regretting You explores mother-daughter relationships, grief, and first love.

This guide was written using the 2019 Montlake Kindle edition of Regretting You.  

Plot Summary

Regretting You begins in the past as 17-year-old Morgan spends the summer with her boyfriend Chris Grant, her sister Jenny, and Jenny’s boyfriend Jonah Sullivan. Morgan acts as a mother figure for Jenny and feels a silent bond with Jonah, who demonstrates a maturity that Morgan admires. Chris and Jenny indulge in alcohol and drugs. Soon, Morgan discovers that she is pregnant with Chris’s child.

Seventeen years in the future, Chris and Morgan’s 16-year-old daughter Clara drives home after school and notices a classmate named Miller Adams abandoned on the side of the road. She picks up Miller and drives him home. Miller lies to his girlfriend Shelby about his interactions with Clara and follows Clara on social media.

At home, 34-year-old Morgan and her sister Jenny prepare for Morgan’s birthday dinner with the family. Jenny says that she and Jonah will be getting married; they broke up as teenagers and Jonah disappeared, but they reconciled briefly for a one-night stand and later discovered that Jenny was pregnant. Angry with Jonah about his abrupt departure years ago, Morgan avoids him. The family sits down for dinner. Chris, now Morgan’s husband, works at a local hospital where Jenny works as a nurse. Jonah teaches at Clara’s high school. When Chris learns of Clara’s encounter with Miller, he forbids Clara from seeing him and discourages her from pursuing acting as a profession. Morgan feels isolated during the dinner. Later that evening, Morgan informs Chris of her decision to return to college. Morgan and Clara partake in their tradition of completing a birthday vision board. Morgan decides her goal will be to find her passion.

The next morning, Morgan watches Jenny’s son Elijah as Jenny returns to work after maternity leave. Clara tells Jenny about her crush on Miller. At school, Jonah pairs Clara with Miller for a film competition. Clara updates Jenny through text about her interactions with Miller.

Later that day, Morgan receives a call that Chris has been in a car accident. Unaware that Jenny was also in the accident, Morgan arrives at the hospital and discovers Jonah there. Jonah and Morgan attempt to uncover why Chris and Jenny were driving together and learn that Jenny lied about having to return to work. To protect Clara, they tell her that Jenny picked up Chris after he had a flat tire. A doctor informs Jonah and Morgan that Chris and Jenny are dead.

In the aftermath of the accident, Clara blames herself for distracting her aunt with texts. Miller attends the funeral, and they drive off together and smoke marijuana before being discovered by Morgan. While Morgan attempts to ignore her suspicions about Chris and Jenny having an affair, Jonah tracks down Chris’s car at a local hotel. Morgan and Jonah travel to the hotel together, discover lingerie, and confirm Chris and Jenny’s affair. Morgan begins to suspect that Chris, not Jonah, is Elijah’s father.

Clara sneaks out to see a movie and discovers Miller working at the theater. They chat. Late in the evening, Jonah wakes Morgan up and abandons Elijah with her out of distress over Elijah’s true paternity. Days later, Morgan continues to care for Elijah until Clara drives to Jonah’s home and convinces him to take Elijah back. Jonah apologizes to Morgan.

Two weeks later, Clara avoids going home after numerous fights with her mother over her relationship with Miller. After Miller informs Clara that he has broken up with his girlfriend, he picks Clara up from a coffee shop, and they hang out. They share their first kiss after Miller admits that he has had a crush on Clara for three years. At her home, Morgan and Jonah discuss whether to tell Clara and Elijah the truth about Chris and Jenny. Morgan insists on protecting Clara and hiding the truth. When Jonah leaves, Morgan recalls her attraction to him and her sadness over Jonah’s abrupt escape from town when they were teens, after she told him about her pregnancy.

Miller and Clara hold hands publicly the next day at school. Unexpectedly, Morgan appears at the school and catches them together. Morgan and Clara argue. Distressed, Morgan picks Elijah up from daycare and cares for him until Jonah finishes work. When Jonah looks for tools to help Morgan remove a door she’d angrily destroyed, he discovers multiple letters from Jenny to Chris. Jonah refuses to read the letters, but Morgan hides them. After commiserating about Chris and Jenny’s betrayal, Jonah and Morgan destroy a painting Jenny once gave Chris. They nearly kiss before Clara arrives home and almost catches them. Later, Jonah asks Morgan about her feelings for him. When Morgan refuses to answer, they argue.

Morgan avoids Jonah’s calls for a week while Miller and Clara continue to grow closer. When Elijah falls ill, Jonah desperately reaches out to Morgan for help. After work, Jonah comes to pick up Elijah and eats dinner with Morgan. Morgan confronts Jonah about having sex with Jenny the year before. Jonah admits he had sex with Jenny out of jealousy over Chris and Morgan’s relationship. As they talk about their feelings for one another, Jonah kisses Morgan. Clara walks in on them kissing. Convinced that Jonah and Morgan have been having an affair since before Chris and Jenny’s deaths, Clara calls Miller to sneak into her room and initiates sex with him. When Miller notices Clara’s lack of enthusiasm, he stops and grows angry with Clara for using him to anger her mother. Clara begs him to stay, and they fall asleep together.

The next morning, a neighbor informs Morgan about a broken window screen. Morgan checks on Clara and discovers Miller asleep in Clara’s bed. Morgan and Clara argue again. Clara defiantly leaves for school. It is her 17th birthday. During first period in Jonah’s class, she angrily destroys her cell phone. Concerned, Jonah does not punish Clara but comforts her. Clara skips school for the rest of the day and invites Jonah and Miller over for her birthday dinner. Morgan prepares Clara’s favorite food for dinner and is surprised by Jonah and Miller’s arrival. Throughout the dinner, Clara antagonizes her mother and eventually leaves in a fury. Clara attempts to leave with Miller, but he refuses to enable Clara’s behavior. Clara retreats inside and calls her best friend Lexie.

While Clara hangs out with Lexie, Morgan travels to Jonah’s house and confesses her feelings for him. They have passionate sex. Jonah promises to keep Elijah’s paternity a secret to protect Clara. Morgan returns home to discover Clara and Lexie drunk. After Clara passes out in a drunken stupor, Morgan cares for her. As she does, Clara expresses the guilt she feels for texting Jenny during the accident.

The day after Clara’s birthday, Morgan and Clara complete the birthday board tradition. Clara shares her wishes for Morgan to accept her relationship with Miller, support her acting career, and always be honest with her. Morgan tells Clara that she will support her and attempts to reassure Clara that she was not responsible for Jenny and Chris’s deaths. Confused, Clara pushes Morgan to tell her the truth of what happened. Morgan reluctantly reveals the truth of Chris and Jenny’s affair. Seeing Clara’s distress, Morgan offers to drive Clara to Miller’s work. Miller comforts Clara. As Clara waits for Miller to finish work, Morgan drives back to the movie theater to check on Clara. The mother and daughter reconcile and leave the theater together. The next day, Clara expresses her approval of Morgan and Jonah’s relationship. At the end of the evening, Morgan shreds the secret letters between Chris and Jenny without reading them.

Months later, Miller and Clara screen their submission for the film competition to Jonah, Morgan, and friends. After the initial screening, Miller surprises Clara with a montage of clips he filmed secretly over months to ask Clara to prom. Clara and Miller order pizza at Miller’s house. Miller’s grandfather informs him that Miller will inherit $250,000 when he passes and encourages Miller to pursue his dream of attending film school.

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