The Cactus

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In this story of a late bloomer who comes into her own, Susan is a single, independent 45-year-old who finds herself newly pregnant just when she receives news that her mother has died and favored her brother in the will. Susan’s pursuit of her inheritance evolves at pace with her pregnancy, revealing in layers her painful family history and possibilities for her future.

The gimmick of the story is Susan herself. A rational, humorless loner, she is precise and judgmental, assessing the world against her own high standards of self-discipline and responsibility through an unintentionally deadpan narrative. Like the title character in Gail Honeyman’s best selling 2017 novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Susan is a British oddball who speaks with literal, just-seen-the-world-for-the-first-time exactness, seemingly unaware that her isolation and lack of cultural fluency flag her as eccentric and off-putting.

As in many stories of loners at crossroads, Susan moves through current challenges and painful revelations while, in spite of her prickly ways, collecting a colorful cast of companions. The Cactus stays true to the tradition of offbeat characters whose estrangement from society is gently replaced by the potential for a rewarding, substantive life of loving relationships and community.

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Reviewed By:

Author Sarah Haywood
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher Park Row
Publish Date 2018-May-01
ISBN 9780778318996
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue October 2018
Category Modern Literature
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