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The Cactus
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The Cactus
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In this witty and heartfelt debut, one woman's unconventional journey to motherhood means learning to embrace the unexpectedEven the prickliest cactus has its flower...For Susan Green, messy emotions...
In this witty and heartfelt debut, one woman's unconventional journey to motherhood means learning to embrace the unexpectedEven the prickliest cactus has its flower...For Susan Green, messy emotions...
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  • In this witty and heartfelt debut, one woman's unconventional journey to motherhood means learning to embrace the unexpected

    Even the prickliest cactus has its flower...

    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.

    Featuring an endearing cast of characters and tremendous heart, The Cactus is a poignant debut and a delightful reminder that some things can't be explained by logic alone.

About the Author-

  • Sarah Haywood studied law and has worked as a solicitor, an advice worker and as an investigator of complaints about lawyers. She now lives in the UK with her husband and two sons. The Cactus is her first novel.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 26, 2018
    A cactus is the perfect metaphor for Haywood’s hilarious and endearing debut about a prickly woman who thrives no matter her environment. Londoner Susan Green is a controlling single 45-year-old woman who is successful in both her professional life as a civil service worker and in her personal life with formally scheduled liaisons with Richard, a similarly organized and methodical businessman. Susan’s disciplined life is rocked when her widowed mother dies and the will specifies that Susan’s undeserving, ne’er-do-well younger brother, Edward, whom Susan despises and has little to do with for good reason, can inhabit the family’s suburban home until he wants to sell it, at which time the proceeds will be evenly split. To make matters even more complicated, Susan discovers she is pregnant with Richard’s child, whom she will raise alone because she doesn’t want to be beholden to anyone. She intends to prove that her brother, now living in the house with his buddy, Rob, had undue influence on the content of their infirm mother’s will. As Susan builds a case against her brother, she forms a dubious connection with Rob, hoping that will help her garner the truth about Edward’s motives. What she eventually learns—not only about her mother but also about herself—thoroughly alters her approach to life, which Haywood lovingly and humorously demonstrates is actually a very good thing. The novel is consistently enjoyable, anchored by the splendid character of Susan.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2018
    Unexpectedly pregnant at age 45, Susan Green finds her perfectly organized life turning upside down. And then her mother dies, leaving the family house to Susan's ne'er-do-well brother, Edward, for as long as he wants to live in it.Susan has spent her life trying to keep messy feelings at bay. An attorney by training, she's chosen to avoid the troublesome job of looking after actual people's problems and instead works as a data analyst in London. Even her love life is carefully choreographed: Instead of dating, she sensibly answered a lonely hearts ad from a well-groomed, well-employed gentleman looking for a companion, and for 12 years, she and Richard spent each Wednesday visiting art exhibits and having no-strings-attached intimate encounters. Once pregnant, Susan ends the relationship, not willing to risk her independence. Yet her mother's will cracks open Susan's carefully controlled emotions. Outraged that her drunken brother--the same brother who siphoned off all her mother's affection and humiliated Susan in grade school--can live in the house for as long as he likes, Susan decides to take him to court to force him to sell it and split the proceeds with her. But unearthing evidence that he inappropriately influenced their mother proves challenging. In this, her debut novel, Haywood concocts a delightful collection of characters to lead Susan out of her emotionally cloistered life. Boozy villain Edward pushes her while his friend Rob, a charmingly disheveled landscape architect, finds himself falling for her as he tries to run interference. Susan also befriends her upstairs neighbor, Kate, whose partner abandoned her with two small children. Haywood deftly twists and turns Susan's investigation, so each conversation with her gregarious Aunt Sylvia and even her mother's vicar reveals not only more about her mother's will, but also more of the secrets she kept from Susan. With new friends Rob and Kate, Susan begins to let her defenses down, accepting real love for perhaps the first time.A warm, witty portrait of a woman finally creating the family she deserves.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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