The Regrets

By Amy Bonnaffons



Reality and dream collide in Amy Bonnaffons's dazzling, darkly playful debut novel about a love affair between the living and the dead.
For weeks, Rachel has been noticing the same golden-haired young man sitting at her Brooklyn bus stop, staring off with a melancholy air. When, one day, she finally musters the courage to introduce herself, the chemistry between them is undeniable: Thomas is wise, witty, handsome, mysterious, clearly a kindred spirit. There's just one tiny problem: He's dead.
Stuck in a surreal limbo governed by bureaucracy, Thomas is unable to "cross over" to the afterlife until he completes a 90-day stint on earth, during which time he is forbidden to get involved with a member of the living -- lest he incur "regrets." When Thomas and Rachel break this rule, they unleash a cascade of bizarre, troubling consequences.
Set in the hallucinatory borderland between life and death, The Regrets is a gloriously strange and breathtakingly sexy exploration of love, the cataclysmic power of fantasies, and the painful, exhilarating work of waking up to reality, told with uncommon grace and humor by a visionary artist at the height of her imaginative power.

Product Details

Price: $27.00  $24.30
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Published Date: February 04, 2020
Pages: 304
Dimensions: 5.5 X 1.3 X 8.3 inches | 0.83 pounds
ISBN: 9780316516167
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Amy Bonnaffons's work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Kenyon Review, among other places, and has been read on This American Life. She is a founding editor of, an online journal that publishes collaborations between writers and visual artists. She holds an MFA from NYU and currently lives in Athens, GA, where she is pursuing a PhD at the University of Georgia.


"This tight and lyrical debut novel follows the flawed members of a sticky love triangle...Bonnaffons (The Wrong Heaven, 2018) has a deft hand for dialogue and character development, which grounds the fantastical nature of her novel in the sharp truths of real-life love and desire."--BOOKLIST
"Boldly sensitive, sexy, witty, and sad- good lord, thank you, Amy Bonnaffons, for writing a book like a tonic for those of us who are painfully wide open to the world and 'fatally vulnerable to magic.' Readers will find themselves haunted by The Regrets long after putting it down."--CJ HAUSER, author of FAMILY OF ORIGIN
"A surreal love story about the courtship between a living woman and a dead man...It is a plot that could be-that should be-unbearably twee, oppressively quirky, in love with its own melancholy. Instead, Bonnaffons' first full-length novel is a rare pleasure: a philosophical rom-com too weird, too bodily, too precise, too fun to get bogged down in trembling sentiment. Deep and deeply funny."--KIRKUS (Starred Review)
"If orgasm is, as the French would have it, a 'little death, ' no novelist I know illuminates the tingling play between sex and mortality better than Amy Bonnaffons. At once love story, ghost story, and low-key philosophical investigation into the nature of existence, The Regrets is a supernatural tale about the super natural vagaries of love: the transcendence of attraction, the haunting of possession, and the potency of daydream."--RACHEL LYON, author of SELF-PORTRAIT WITH BOY
"Bonnaffons's wonderful debut novel is a tale of ghostly love and passion...The tension of an ephemeral romance and impending loss will keep readers turning the pages, and the luminous prose is vibrant with penetrating observations, whether about moments that are a 'crucial node in the universe's vast plan' or about dying-with or without regrets. This sexy, witty novel about life, death, and love's power will enchant readers."--PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (Starred Review)
"In Amy Bonnaffons's remarkable debut novel, The Regrets, love is spectral-both literally and figuratively. This is a book about ghosts and angels and dreams, but its emotional register is grounded and unmistakably human. The Regrets examines the way wisdom can interfere with fulfillment and self-protection with the joy of living. It is somehow both sly and earnest, humorous and haunting. Bonnaffons reads like Haruki Murakami for the millennial generation; she is weird, tender, and full of magic."--LUCY TAN, author of WHAT WE WERE PROMISED
"Bonnaffons is a masterful chronicler of female desire and its discontents."--LENI ZUMAS, author of RED CLOCKS
"Bonnaffons reveals the mysteries inside of us, just waiting to make themselves known."--KEVIN WILSON, author of NOTHING TO SEE HERE
"Amy Bonnaffons is the real deal. She's a woman of impossible juxtapositions."--DARIN STRAUSS, author of HALF A LIFE
"The Regrets captures the bardo of love, a world where living flesh and ghostly projection are indistinguishable, as they often are in the yearnings, desires, and infatuations of our own waking lives."--MELISSA BRODER, author of THE PISCES