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The Cactus

Narrated by: Katherine Manners
Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,137 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine on Audible Pick

“I’m so excited to announce that our first pick of the summer is The Cactus by Sarah Haywood. This title is a perfect metaphor for Susan, who is a single, regimented woman faced with an unexpected pregnancy just as she navigates a difficult family inheritance issue at the same time. I found myself laughing out loud at Susan’s prickly character as she finds herself in a love triangle, navigating family ties, and dealing with nine months of pregnancy at the age of 45. Hope y’all love Susan as much as I do!” (Reese Witherspoon)  

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.

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

©2018 Sarah Haywood (P)2018 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Very very disappointing

Main character is real piece of work just a narcissist shit fest. Didn’t care for it at all.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Reminded Me of Eleanor Olyifont

I enjoyed it. The characters were very easy to follow and had one or two surprises.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Adorable story, AMAZING Narration.

The story itself was very cute. I loved the ending.

The real star here was the narrator. It was almost distracting thinking that one person sounded so naturally like SO many other people. She didn't do the weird "fake low voice" so many female performers turn to during narration of male voices. She was just simply amazing. She actually sounded, distinctly, like each different character. I can't imagine. I have trouble remembering the four voices for my toddler's board books! Very well done. An awesome performance of a really adorable book.

127 of 143 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Couldn’t finish

I gave it 3 hours and it just wasn’t engaging at all. I returned it

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Trite, juvenile, one-dimensional and BORING

I cannot believe this got any editor's approval let alone made it to the Reese book list. So little of interest happened that I kept checking my progress in the book shocked that I could be so far along with nothing to show for it. It's hard to understand why anyone would even write a novel about such a boring, pedestrian premise. An older woman who is very set in her ways gets pregnant. Perhaps if the main character were particularly compelling or nuanced or thoughtful it would justify such a simple, silly premise being turned into a full novel, but the character is so unrealistic that it is laughable. She is one-dimensional, unsympathetic and when she does show some warm-hearted attributes they are so sudden and unbelievable that it seems like a romantic comedy that ran out of budget so they have to film the romantic half of the film in 1 scene instead of in 10.

Please do not waste your time or Audible credits. This isn't even enjoyable for those looking for a beach read or similar. It simply should never have been written.

47 of 54 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

The best part was the ending

No but really, the ending kind of made the read worth it but a chapter before the twist I was about ready to return it... **yawn**

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

oh boy...

the book is unbearably slow and the character is very unlikeable and difficult to connect with. thats the point, but it makes it difficult to read. there is not much that goes on in the first 6 hours and then ir begins to pick up. im surprised it made the best sellers list! i struggled to will myself to finish the book and i dont usually have a problem!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

pretty good. not amazing. I expected more.

I enjoyed the book but I definitely expected more based on the recommendation from reese's book club.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable overall

I thought it was a well-written story and kept me interested but I thought the narrator’s voice sounded too old for the character. I kept picturing Mrs. Doubtfire. It was a little distracting.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Great narration

It's the narration that made this a 4-star book for me. The story is a bit predictable, and the author tried to include too many narrative threads that weren't really developed. The biggest problem for me was the character of Edward. He was thoroughly unlikeable and his sudden change at the end was unrealistic. I enjoyed the British humor.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful