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The Cactus: A Novel by Sarah Haywood
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The Cactus: A Novel (edition 2019)

by Sarah Haywood (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
17710104,081 (3.72)11
For Susan Green, messy emotions don't fit into the equation of her perfectly ordered life. She has a flat that is ideal for one, a job that suits her passion for logic and an 'interpersonal arrangement' that provides cultural and other, more intimate, benefits. But suddenly confronted with the loss of her mother and the news that she is about to become a mother herself, Susan's greatest fear is realized. She is losing control. When she learns that her mother's will inexplicably favors her indolent brother, Edward, Susan's already dismantled world is sent flying into a tailspin. As Susan's due date draws near and her family problems become increasingly difficult to ignore, Susan finds help and self-discovery in the most unlikely of places.… (more)
Member:lelapin7
Title:The Cactus: A Novel
Authors:Sarah Haywood (Author)
Info:Park Row (2019), Edition: Original, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

  1. 00
    Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (olegalCA)
    olegalCA: Both are quirky characters who find out they have more relationships in their lives than they thought they did
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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Pretty good book, pretty weak ending! ( )
  LASMIT | Nov 19, 2019 |
‘The Cactus’ by Sarah Haywood is about a quirky, socially awkward, unmarried woman in her early 40’s who likes living a regimented life devoid of social ties, which would make her vulnerable to disappointment and hurt. Susan Green is like a cactus, as her prickly character protects her from any kind of vulnerability or desire for romance. But Susan is now single and pregnant, and she is undergoing a legal battle with her brother Edward over her recently deceased mother’s estate. Susan’s life is getting out of control, and her present condition promotes some unexpected friendships, which will catapult her life into riskier situations and inevitable change. Although I enjoyed this story, it didn’t seem to progress as quickly at times, and I, therefore, gave it 3 stars, instead of 4. All in all, I thought ‘The Cactus’ was a redeeming story about the transformation of a quirky, methodical woman, whose life becomes elevated through the unplanned events that are tossed her way. ( )
  haymaai | Jul 22, 2019 |
I wish that people would stop comparing every book with an even remotely difficult or socially challenged main character to Eleanor Oliphant. IMHO, that's a poor comparison. Don from the Rosie series *might* be a better comparison. But why compare? Haywood does better than most at revealing Susan's rationale for her decisions. Still, I would have liked to have read *even more* of that. ( )
  joyblue | Jun 25, 2019 |
Susan is a self-possessed person, she has had to be. Growing up with a dysfunctional family, her father died of alcoholism and her mother doted on her younger brother, Susan left home and now, at the age of forty-five, finds herself in a dead-end civil service job and pregnant. Susan has controlled her life to protect her self from the outside world and emotional ties but when her mother dies she realises that maybe something has to change.
I found this book strangely endearing despite myself. Susan is a complex character and, whilst sone plot turns defy logic, the reader is longing for her to find love and contentment. The story is bouncily written and the final 'twist' is flagged up and really obvious but no less welcome for that. One step up from chick lit, this is an undemanding but enjoyable read. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Dec 24, 2018 |
Seemed like a cross between Eleanor Oliphant is Fine and A Man Called Ove, but nothing like as good as either of those books. Long time since I read a book where I actually disliked the main character. Susan seemed an arrogant stand-offish person who was incredibly judgemental about everyone - her neighbours, her work colleagues, her family members etc etc.
She had embarked on a rather unusual relationship with a man some years previously, and to her surprise finds herself pregnant, just as her mother dies. And that provides the lynch pin of the plot - her mother's will and the contest between her and her younger brother who she despises. It goes on and on, and then at the end, when the baby is born it all the problems are miraculously solved and it all comes together - oh yeah? - and then everyone is happy. ( ) ( )
  herschelian | Dec 13, 2018 |
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