The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

Susanne’s Review:

What does it take to find your true self?  Life-Changing Events.

Susan is a 45 (forty-five) year-old woman who is prickly as a pear or rather as prickly as cactus if I’m going to get technical. Friendly isn’t exactly her forte. Set in her ways, Susan prefers routine and likes to be alone. Having had to grow up quite fast, Susan became extremely independent at a very young age and has never had to rely on anyone to do anything.  Difficult, stern, self-involved, yet quirky, Susan is an acquired taste if truth be told.

When news of her mother’s passing hits, Susan is shaken to the core.  Especially when she receives word of her mother’s will.  

Then she gets even more unsettling news, Susan discovers that she’s pregnant at the age of 45 (forty-five)!  (Being that I’m in my mid to late 40’s myself, I found that news to be quite unnerving as well!).  Fortunately for Susan, this unexpected pregnancy brings about a few life changes, including opening herself up to unexpected friendships, family, and a whole host of new emotions.

“The Cactus” by Sarah Haywood is a novel about self-discovery and exploration.  About coming into one’s own. The truth is, that it’s never too late to change.  Sometimes you just need a push or two in the right direction. This novel has been compared to “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” one of my favorite novels of all time.  While I don’t think this novel compares (as truth be told, Susan is nothing like Eleanor and doesn’t hold a candle to her). In my opinion, this novel is something different altogether and should stand on its own.  

An enjoyable novel with some truly lovable characters, including Aunty Sylvia, Susan’s neighbor Kate, and most importantly, Rob, whose interactions with Susan were sublime.

Thank you to my local library for loaning me a copy of this audiobook, which was narrated by Katherine Manners.

Published on Goodreads and Twitter on 1.23.21.

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