Do I need to like them all? - son's wives
Telling a child 'no' - parenting
She thinks he has a problem - alcohol
"Original, engaging and totally believable." The Cactus is the debut novel from Sarah Haywood and our book club pick for August.
Meet Susan. Susan loves her flat-for-one in Clapham, her logical spreadsheet-based job, her ‘no-strings with benefits’ personal arrangement and her numerous cacti. She always likes to be in control and this can often make her unwieldy and more than a little prickly. Her colleagues find her difficult and rather odd. Friends are superfluous to her needs.
Yet suddenly faced with the death of her mother, and the shock of finding herself pregnant, Susan’s greatest fear is being realised – she is losing control.
In an attempt to wrestle back control of her upcoming motherhood, her finances and her future, she engages in a legal battle with her feckless brother, Rob.
In seeking to prove that her brother has tricked their mother and that the will is a worthless sham, Susan is forced to step outside her carefully constructed world and face some uncomfortable truths about herself, her family and her past.
This sparkling debut is wryly humorous with real heart and a powerful emotional punch. In Susan we find a character who is wholly exasperating and full of flaws, but who you cannot help but love.
"If, like me, you never stopped to think what a child born of The Rosie Project’s Don Tillman and Bridget Jones might be like, there’s one way to find out. Read Sarah Heywood’s The Cactus. Meet Susan Green. She doesn’t understand how funny she is, which is delicious." - Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank with Me
Sarah worked as a lawyer for many years until she decided to follow her dream of being a writer. She quit her job and did an Open University Creative Writing Course, followed by an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. With The Cactus, Sarah draws on her professional experience of working on family legal disputes, where people often look to the legal system to solve deep-seated personal issues far beyond anything that can possibly be resolved in court. Sarah lives in Liverpool with her husband and two sons, aged 10 and 13.
The Cactus by Sarah Haywood is published by Two Roads and is available online and from all good booksellers. If you do receive a free copy, you'll need to add your questions and comments for Sarah to this thread by the end of August.