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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

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What listeners say about The Cactus

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent story and narration

Odd how I found the sorry almost irritating to me at first then I was enthralled as I realized that was all part of the delicate yet powerful story line as we get to know the main character. The story thoroughly engaged me and I thought the narration was first rate - truly enjoyed it and would love to listen to another by Ms Manners

2 people found this helpful

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Won me over!

the main character annoyed me at first, but by 3 chapters in I found her hilarious. I was rooting for her, and her happiness.

1 person found this helpful

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2.5 Stars

I debated long and hard over how to review this. The narrator did a fantastic job and she made the book so much better than it actually was. So kudos to the talented narrator! A solid 5 stars for her.

The main character is thoroughly unlikeable. I love flawed characters - prefer them, even - but she had no redeeming features until the very end. Even her stubbornness, a trait I can empathize with, went far beyond the norm to the point of obsessiveness. She is so incredibly robotic - more so than Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes - that it amazes me she’s even capable of romantic feelings.

The romance came out of the blue and wasn’t developed well. Susan and her love interest are so different from each other that I can’t imagine how they ever fell for each other. Especially since it all happened so fast. One moment she barely liked him and the next she’s in love with him.

I did enjoy the ending, as unrealistically ideal as it was.

If I hadn’t purchased this audiobook and instead opted for the actual book, I probably wouldn’t have finished it. The narrator did such a great job that I was able to enjoy the book. But when I think objectively, I would not have liked the book otherwise.

1 person found this helpful

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quirky

she is such a quirky woman !!! I had to shake my head a couple of times at her thought process but I enjoyed the story overall.

1 person found this helpful

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Worth a listen

Yes it takes a while to settle in with the protagonist, the prickly Susan, but the excellent narrator carries you through. Enjoyable and engaging light listen.

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Short review

I just loved that book. Wonderful and hilarious at times. I will certainly read it again!

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Delightful

Fun, interesting, satisfying; we’ll developed characters; excellent performance. Can’t wait to recommend it to my daughters.

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Stay with it and you will feel all the feels

I was struggling to focus at first and actually paused the book to switch to another a couple of times. However, I liked the narrators voice and returned to the book. I am pleased I did as I finally got into the story and characters enjoyed the last 2/3 of the book immensely.

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A joy

The protagonist is very English haha. A very sweet love story and performed wonderfully by Katherine Manners.

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Fun

Loved it. Cute fun and warm and witty Really good. Overall well written with some great twists.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • RueRue
  • 2019-07-12

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.

24 people found this helpful

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  • esther
  • 2019-07-05

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.

15 people found this helpful

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  • S. Vecchio
  • 2019-06-07

Reminded Me of Eleanor Olyifont

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

43 people found this helpful

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  • Christina
  • 2019-06-22

Good story, but very slow

If this book was half it’s length, I would’ve liked it better. It’s just too slow and boring, but the story is good.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Monica Flock
  • 2018-06-29

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.

140 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-02

Very very disappointing

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

14 people found this helpful

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  • Book.Lover 1350
  • 2019-06-06

Couldn’t finish

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

35 people found this helpful

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  • Alexandra Daum
  • 2019-06-10

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.

69 people found this helpful

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  • Ashley
  • 2019-06-23

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!

19 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • User 1572958123
  • 2019-06-19

No Pizazz

I listened to this because Reece Witherspoon recommended it in her book club, but I found it to be very dull. I kept waiting for something exciting to happen. The most controversial thing in the book wasn't even that exciting. When it ended, I just thought "that's it?" Save your money. Find a better book!

5 people found this helpful