Monday 12 February 2018

✪ The Cactus ✪ Sarah Haywood ✪

People aren't sure what to make of Susan Green - a prickly independent woman, who has everything just the way she wants it and who certainly has no need for messy emotional relationships.

Family and colleagues find her stand-offish and hard to understand, but Susan makes perfect sense to herself, and that's all she needs.
At forty-five, she thinks her life is perfect, as long as she avoids her feckless brother, Edward - a safe distance away in Birmingham. She has a London flat which is ideal for one; a job that suits her passion for logic; and a personal arrangement providing cultural and other, more intimate, benefits.
Yet suddenly faced with the loss of her mother and, implausibly, with the possibility of becoming a mother herself, Susan's greatest fear is being realised: she is losing control.
When she discovers that her mother's will inexplicably favours her brother, Susan sets out to prove that Edward and his equally feckless friend Rob somehow coerced this dubious outcome. But when problems closer to home become increasingly hard to ignore, she finds help in the most unlikely of places.
This sparkling debut is a breath of fresh air with real heart and a powerful emotional punch. In Susan we find a character as exasperating and delightful as The Rosie Project's Don Tillman. An uncompromising feminist and a fierce fighter, it's a joy to watch her bloom.

ARC received for an honest review - thank you Hachette Australia

I won't lie, The Cactus did start off a little slow for me, and I did put it aside for a week, however once I picked it up again, I finished again over the past weekend.

Susan is a prickly character, just like the title suggests.  It did take me a while to warm up to her, I wanted someone to extract the stick that was up her rear.  The was bristly and quite unlikable, however as the story progressed, I did warm up to her.

I loved her inner voice - it often showed us so much more than she showed the world.  She could come across as quite 2 dimensional and flat at times, but I think that was just her.  She is a complete control freak and comes across as brash.

I did enjoy how she evolved though. She formed relationships of many different kinds as the story progressed, came out of her self-imposed shell.

Secrets, lies, twists and turns, I ended up really enjoying The Cactus.

This is Ms Haywood's debut novel, and I look forward seeing what she brings us next.