Susan Green is independent and in control, and doesn’t need anyone in her life. Until, suddenly, it turns out that she does. The metaphor of a cactus is the perfect metaphor for heroine of Sarah Haywood’s book The Cactus  – self reliant and able to thrive in any conditions. But sometimes what we think is perfect isn’t at all, and life’s curveballs end up bringing about situations that might upset things for a bit, but end up working out alright in the end. 

Following her mother’s death, Susan’s life is transformed, through legal battles, relationships, and a surprise pregnancy. She’s forced to confront the way she lives her life as changes happen to her – despite her assertion that one should never be victim to circumstances. 

To reflect Susan’s direct approach the prose is acerbic and the sentences short, which can get a bit grating, but works as a way to inhabit her interior world. is described as being this year’s Eleanor Oliphant (the most overused marketing phrase in the publishing world) but she’s a fully formed character in her own right – and a prickly one at that. Yet she’s easy to warm to, and makes The Cactus an enjoyable and easy read.

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