Sarah Haywood - The Cactus - Hodder & Stoughton

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Hardback £14.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781473660618
    • Publication date:25 Jan 2018
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781473660649
    • Publication date:25 Jan 2018
  • Downloadable audio file £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781473660977
    • Publication date:25 Jan 2018

The Cactus

a Richard & Judy Autumn Book Club read 2018

By Sarah Haywood

  • Paperback
  • £7.99

A Richard & Judy Autumn Book Club read. Susan Green doesn't like surprises - she likes to be in control. But at 45 and unexpectedly pregnant her perfect life starts to unravel, and real life in all its messiness shows her that it's never too late to bloom.

A RICHARD AND JUDY AUTUMN BOOK CLUB PICK

'One of the funniest, quirkiest books either of us has read for a long time ... stand by for a slam-bam finish' Richard & Judy Book Club
'The Cactus will be compared to Gail Honeyman's 2017 hit, the appealingly eccentric Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine' Sunday Times
'Quirky, poignant and extremely readable' Sunday Mirror
'Wonderfully funny and astute' Red
'Funny, compelling, well-written...for fans of Marian Keyes who demand a bit of grit in their comic writing' Emerald Street


It's never too late to bloom ... People aren't sure what to make of Susan Green - family and colleagues find her prickly and hard to understand, but Susan makes perfect sense to herself.

Age 45, she thinks her life is perfect, as long as she avoids her feckless brother, Edward - a safe distance away in Birmingham. She has a London flat which is ideal for one; a job that suits her passion for logic; and a personal arrangement providing cultural and other, more intimate, benefits.
Yet suddenly faced with the loss of her mother and, implausibly, with the possibility of becoming a mother herself, Susan's greatest fear is being realised: she is losing control. And things can only get worse ... at least in Susan's eyes.

This sparkling debut is a breath of fresh air with real heart and a powerful emotional punch. In Susan we find a character as exasperating and delightful as The Rosie Project's Don Tillman. An uncompromising feminist and a fierce fighter, it's a joy to watch her bloom.

Biographical Notes

Sarah Haywood was born in Birmingham. After studying Law, she worked in London and Birkenhead as a solicitor, in Toxteth as an advice worker, and in Manchester as an investigator of complaints about lawyers.
She now lives in Liverpool with her husband and two sons.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781473660632
  • Publication date: 04 Oct 2018
  • Page count: 384
  • Imprint: Two Roads
The Cactus will be compared to Gail Honeyman's Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine...there is terrible poignancy — Patricia Nicol, The Sunday Times
Legal battles, lapses of logic and the joys and fears of motherhood are explored in this astute, funny and moving novel of a woman learning how to let go — Daily Mail
Quirky, poignant and extremely readable — Sunday Mirror
'Funny, compelling, well-written...for fans of Marian Keyes who demand a bit of grit in their comic writing' — Emerald Street
Fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine will love The Cactus ... wonderfully funny and astute — Sarra Manning, Red
This book is charming and easy to read, the perfect tonic to this absurdly grey February — The Pool
Read it if you loved Eleanor Oliphant — Best
An ideal read for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine — Closer
The trend for "up lit" continues to make its mark, in titles including Sarah Haywood's debut The Cactus (rigid, lonely-but-doesn't-realise woman in her 40s falls pregnant and is forced to make connections; great cover) — Alison Flood, The Bookseller
Hilarious and endearing ... anchored by the splendid character of Susan — Publisher's Weekly
An original, engaging and totally believable character — Graeme Simsion
Susan Green is an independent and endearingly prickly woman whose life is spiralling out of control. You're gonna love her. — Marie Claire AUS
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 Haywood'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
Equal parts intelligent, funny and devastating, Haywood breathes life into an unlikely heroine in a bold, emotionally-charged debut. — Phaedra Patrick, author of THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER
Glorious...it twists and turns through human nature wonderfully. Like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Rosie Project ... a book you just want to read at any opportunity. — Kat Brown
Heartfelt and funny, this big-hearted debut will delight fans of The Rosie Project. — Book Riot
A joyful, funny and very insightful story. Incredibly well written and wonderfully imagined. Effortlessly entertaining with captivating observatoins. — Random Things Through My Letterbox
There's been a trend for 'difficult' female protagonists ... but set-in-her-ways Susan is difficult in her own unique way — Wear and Where
A heartfelt and charming story of one woman's transition from a solitary, orderly existence to a messy life full of love. — Booklist
I adored this book. LOVE LOVE LOVED it. — Debbish.com blog
A warm, witty portrait of a woman finally creating the family she deserves — Kirkus Reviews
A very readable, often funny tale of how sometimes we think we have life under control, but really, that's just impossible; it's better to just go with the flow and actually enjoy ourselves along the way. A very useful life lesson. — Books on the 747 blog
A very compelling and enjoyable read — A Ticket to Everywhere blog
Funny, touching and so beautifully written, with a twist that knocks you off your feet — Years of Reading Selfishly
Best cover. Kick-ass feminist, quirky story within. The definition of win-win. — Lady Sharon blog
Susan is a fantastic character, who you end up loving deeply by the end — Not Maud Gonne blog
I fell in love with the warm, feminist heart of this novel — Where the Books Go blog
Warm, uplifting, funny and bittersweet — Talking About My Shelf blog
Gloriously funny and poignant, The Cactus introduces us to Susan Green, a 45-year-old woman who's seemingly in-control life begins to unravel in a very messy and, er, prickly way. You will love her. — InStyle AUS
Insightful, funny and incredibly entertaining. Haywood has created a character who is both irritating and intriguing in equal measure and I bloody loved her! — A Novel Girl
Wise, witty and introspective The Cactus is a terrific debut that cannot fail to move you ... candid and warm — WHSmith Fresh Talent 2018
An immense pleasure . . . I loved this novel very much — Mrs B's Book Reviews
Refreshingly different and often unpredictable, yet providing enough hope to keep the reader turning pages — Fredericksburg
Haywood's novel is humorous and reveals the vulnerability of someone who believes she's above all that. It poses the question: do we ever really have control over anything in our lives? — British Weekly
Sarah Haywood's charming, funny, poignant debut, The Cactus, is that rare gem, a story of womanhood and motherhood that is never reductive and seldom predictable — Yakima Herald
A brilliant read — Snazzy Books
If you liked Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, then you'll love The Cactus by Sarah Haywood. Quirky, funny, compelling, you can't help but love, and cheer for, the main character Susan — Amy Lysette, Deputy Features Editor at Closer and Bella
A witty tale of a unique and unforgettable woman who is learning to love and be loved. It is a quirky, warm and entertaining read which certainly packs an emotional punch. — The Curious Ginger Cat
Hodder & Stoughton

The Last Voyage of Mrs Henry Parker

Joanna Nell
Authors:
Joanna Nell
Hodder & Stoughton

The Vanished Bride

Bella Ellis
Authors:
Bella Ellis

The year is 1845, and Emily, Charlotte and Anne Bronte are sat around the dining room table, laughing merrily as the rain of their Yorkshire summer falls outside. When their brother, Branwell, returns from The Bull Inn, he brings with him the most shocking revelation: that Elizabeth Chester, wife of Robert Chester and mistress of Chester Grange has gone missing - but the bloody scene found in her bedroom suggests she may have been murdered.The governess at Chester Grange is Matilda French, a close friend of Charlotte's, who resolves to pay her a visit the following day. At Chester Grange, the sisters make the acquaintance of Robert, a rumoured cruel man, who is suspected of having driven his first wife to suicide. Determined that he should be brought to justice, the sisters throw themselves into solving the case. As everyone knows, solving a murder requires sense, morals and a very good imagination - qualities which these sisters have more than enough of...

Hodder & Stoughton

Theodore Boone: The Accomplice

John Grisham
Authors:
John Grisham

'Not since Nancy Drew has a nosy, crime-obsessed kid been so hard to resist' - New York TimesOne of Theo's best friends, Woody Lambert, has been arrested. Woody's not guilty and Theo must do everything in his power to exonerate his friend and shield him from an unforgiving youth court system.***********************Further praise for the Theodore Boone series'If you aspire to turn your children into lawyers who will keep you in your old age, John Grisham's Theodore Boone, his first novel for young people, might be for you' - Sunday Times'For any young readers tired of wizards, vampires and Greek gods, there's now a new kid on the young fiction block, and this one really does have serious powers: Theodore Boone, half-boy, half-lawyer... fans will be pleased to know there will be more of Theo's adventures to come' - Sunday Express'Nobody does legal fiction better' - Daily Express'Gripping . . . I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery. I think everyone will be enthralled by Theodore Boone' - Scholastic News

Two Roads

M for Mammy

Eleanor O’Reilly
Authors:
Eleanor O’Reilly
Hodder & Stoughton

The Fourth Bear

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde

'Comic genius' (The Observer) and the second Nursery Crime detective novel by the bestselling author Jasper Fforde.The Gingerbreadman: Psychopath, sadist, genius, convicted murderer and biscuit is loose in the streets of Reading. It isn't Jack Spratt's case. He and Mary Mary have been reassigned due to falling levels of nursery crime, and The NCD is once more in jeopardy. That is, until a chance encounter during the Armitage Shanks literary awards at the oddly familiar Deja-Vu Club lead Jack and Mary on the hunt for missing journalist Henrietta 'Goldilocks' Hatchett, star reporter for The Daily Toad. She had been about to break a story involving unexplained explosions in Herefordshire, Pasadena and the Nullabor Plain; The last witnesses to see her alive were The Three Bears, comfortably living out a life of rural solitude in Andersen's wood. But all is not what it seems. How could the bear's porridge be at such disparate temperatures when they were poured at the same time? Was Goldy's death in the nearby 1st World War themepark of Sommeworld a freak accident? And is it merely chance that the Gingerbreadman pops up at awkward moments? But there's more. What does a missing scientist with a terrifying discovery in subatomic physics, a secret weapon of devastating power, a reclusive industrialist known only as the Quangle Wangle and Colonel Danvers of the National Security all have in common?(P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Two Roads

Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel

Ruth Hogan
Authors:
Ruth Hogan

'Absorbing, tender and heartfelt' Mike Gayle, author of The Man I Think I Know'Hogan's best novel yet' Hannah Beckerman, author of If Only I Could Tell You'Exuberant and full of zest' Nina Pottell'Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel pulses with heart and hope' Ashley Hay, author of A Hundred Small Lessons'You are in for such a treat' Annie Lyons, author of The Happiness ListThe new novel from Ruth Hogan, the bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things and The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes - an uplifting novel of mothers and daughters, families and secrets and the astonishing power of friendship.Tilly was a bright, outgoing little girl who liked playing with ghosts and matches. She loved fizzy drinks, swear words, fish fingers and Catholic churches, but most of all she loved living in Brighton in Queenie Malone's magnificent Paradise Hotel with its endearing and loving family of misfits - staff and guests alike. But Tilly's childhood was shattered when her mother sent her away from the only home she'd ever loved to boarding school with little explanation and no warning.Many years later, Tilda has grown into an independent woman still damaged by her mother's unaccountable cruelty. Wary of people, her only friend is her dog, Eli. But when her mother dies, Tilda goes back to Brighton and with the help of her beloved Queenie sets about unravelling the mystery of her exile from The Paradise Hotel, only to discover that her mother was not the woman she thought she knew at all ...Mothers and daughters ... their story can be complicated ... but it can also turn out to have a happy ending.'A life-affirming, celebratory story, full of humour, happiness and joy' The BookBag'Charming, beautiful, wonderful; a read that will stay with you and make you smile' Emma's Bookish Corner

John Murray

The Wolf and the Watchman

Niklas Natt och Dag
Authors:
Niklas Natt och Dag
Sceptre

When All is Said

Anne Griffin
Authors:
Anne Griffin

Five toasts. Five people. One lifetime. 'A hugely enjoyable, engrossing novel, a genuine page-turner.' Donal Ryan'An extraordinary novel, a poetic writer, and a story that moved me to tears.' John Boyne'I'm here to remember - all that I have been and all that I will never be again.'At the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town sits 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan. He's alone, as usual -though tonight is anything but. Pull up a stool and charge your glass, because Maurice is finally ready to tell his story.Over the course of this evening, he will raise five toasts to the five people who have meant the most to him. Through these stories - of unspoken joy and regret, a secret tragedy kept hidden, a fierce love that never found its voice - the life of one man will be powerfully and poignantly laid bare. Heart-breaking and heart-warming all at once, the voice of Maurice Hannigan will stay with you long after all is said.'This is how you tell a story' Cecelia Ahern'Beautifully written, unhurried and thoughtful, and a character you love from the off' Kit de Waal'When All Is Said catches a world in a moment. Maurice Hannigan is a wonderful invention, whose bitter-sweet meditations will stay long in the reader's mind. Anne Griffin has fashioned a rare jewel' John Banville'Masterful storytelling' Graham Norton

Hodder & Stoughton

A Spark of Light

Jodi Picoult
Authors:
Jodi Picoult
Hodder & Stoughton

The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village

Joanna Nell
Authors:
Joanna Nell

A moving, funny, heartwarming tale of love and friendship, for anyone who loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, The Keeper of Lost Things and Three Things About Elsie.'Hugely entertaining . . . funny and heart-warming' Woman & Home'A gentle, warm-hearted book that had me rooting for all the characters and laughing out loud at points' LIBBY PAGE, author of The LidoIt's never too late to grow old disgracefully...The life of 79-year-old pensioner Peggy Smart is as beige as the décor in her retirement village. Her week revolves around aqua aerobics and appointments with her doctor. The highlight of Peggy's day is watching her neighbour Brian head out for his morning swim. Peggy dreams of inviting the handsome widower - treasurer of the Residents' Committee and one of the few eligible men in the village - to an intimate dinner. But why would an educated man like Brian, a chartered accountant no less, look twice at Peggy? As a woman of a certain age, she fears she has become invisible, even to men in their eighties. But a chance encounter with an old school friend she hasn't seen in five decades - the glamorous fashionista Angie Valentine - sets Peggy on an unexpected journey of self-discovery. Can she channel her 'inner Helen Mirren' and find love and friendship in her twilight years?

Hodder & Stoughton

The Scarlet Nightingale

Alan Titchmarsh
Authors:
Alan Titchmarsh

As war rages across Europe, one young woman is torn between love and loyalty.Set in wartime London and occupied France, this is a thrilling story of love, danger and sacrifice from bestselling novelist Alan Titchmarsh.It is the late 1930s when seventeen-year-old Rosamund Hanbury leaves behind the endless summers of her coastal Devonshire home for the fast pace of high society London. Under the expert guidance of her formidable aunt, the country mouse learns how to act like a lady, hosting dinner parties and rubbing shoulders with Britain's most influential. And when the enigmatic Harry Napier sweeps her off her feet at London's famous Café de Paris she could almost forget that Britain has declared war. But the Phoney War ends. Harry is posted, London reels from the first bombings of the Blitz and Rosamund suffers a devastating personal loss that leaves her all the more determined to do her bit for the war effort. Joining the Special Forces she is sent to work alongside the Resistance on a top secret mission in France. It is here that her courage and loyalty are truly put to the test. And where she learns that no one is what they seem: at home or abroad ...

Hodder Paperbacks

The Rest of Me: the uplifting new novel from the bestselling author of My Everything

Katie Marsh
Authors:
Katie Marsh

'I laughed, I identified, I shed a tear. A lovely story that deserves to fly. I loved it.' Amanda Jennings'Vividly written and packed with emotional punches The Rest Of Me is devastating yet uplifting.' Daily Express*******Alex Fox knows there are lots of things she should be. She should be the perfect wife to her chronically ill husband Sam, and the perfect mother to their two daughters. She should be excelling in her high-stress job. And she should be completing the demanding to-do lists she makes to keep herself on track. Even if, just sometimes, she doesn't have time to breathe.When Sam's condition worsens and Alex donates a kidney to save his life, her carefully scheduled existence starts to unravel - eventually forcing her to face up to a past that she has buried for years.As the family she has fought so hard for threatens to fall apart, can Alex finally confront the mistakes that have shaped her - and rediscover what is most important in life?***The Rest of Me is an emotional and uplifting story which will make you laugh, cry and hug the people you love a little bit tighter. Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Lucy Dillon and Amanda Prowse. Readers and authors can't stop praising The Rest of Me:'Reading The Rest of Me felt like the equivalent of watching back-to-back episodes of Cold Feet - funny, heartwarming and thoroughly entertaining. A joyous, page-turning read.' Fiona Mitchell'A deeply emotional and utterly relatable tale of family life and modern motherhood. I fell quite in love with Alex and her family, and loved every word of this beautifully written book.' Kelly Rimmer'This heart-wrenching tale was one of the best I've come across. A beautiful book, an un-put-downable one, which will stay with me awhile.' Goodreads, 5 stars'Sensitive and thought-provoking... I adored it' - Netgalley, 5 stars'This book is amazing from the start...beautifully written with real life issues that I could relate to. I definitely recommend this is a top read.' - Netgalley, 5 stars'Katie's best book yet - I absolutely LOVED it!' - Goodreads, 5 stars'A proper tear jerker. [It] showed that family, love and pulling together in times of trouble really does help you pull through almost any crisis. Tissues needed throughout.' - Amazon, 5 stars'A really engaging and emotive book, which kept me hooked. Highly recommended read.' - Netgalley, 5 stars'Another excellent book from Katie Marsh. A thought-provoking and emotional read. Thoroughly recommended.' Netgalley, 5 stars'An uplifting book which had me gripped throughout' - Netgalley

Sceptre

CoDex 1962

Sjón
Authors:
Sjón

'This is a work of great ambition ... above all it feels like a work of virtuoso narrative for its own sake; an Icelandic 1001 Nights.' The Sunday TimesJósef Loewe can recall the moment of his birth in August, 1962 and everything that has happened since - or so he claims to the woman listening to the tale of his life . . .A love story He begins with his father, Leo, a starving Jewish fugitive in World War II Germany. In a small-town guesthouse, Leo discovers a kindred spirit in the maid who nurses him back to health; together they shape a piece of clay into a baby.A crime story Leo escapes to Iceland with the clay boy inside a hatbox, only to become embroiled in a murder mystery. It is not until 1962 that his son Jósef can be born.A science-fiction story In modern-day Reykjavík, a middle-aged Jósef attracts the interest of a rapacious geneticist. Now, what lies behind Jósef's tale emerges. And as the story of genesis comes full circle, we glimpse the dangerous path ahead for humankind. In this epic novel, Sjón has woven ancient and modern material into a singular masterpiece - encompassing genre fiction, history, theology, folklore, expressionist film, poetry, comic strips, myth, drama and, of course, the rich tradition of Icelandic storytelling.

Sceptre

A Shout in the Ruins

Kevin Powers
Authors:
Kevin Powers
Two Roads

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

Ruth Hogan
Authors:
Ruth Hogan
Two Roads

Two Steps Forward

Graeme Simsion, Anne Buist
Authors:
Graeme Simsion, Anne Buist
Hodder Paperbacks

The Family Next Door

Sally Hepworth
Authors:
Sally Hepworth

'Fiction at its finest' - Liane Moriarty, Number One New York Times bestselling author'Perfect for fans of BIG LITTLE LIES' - Library Journal How much do we really know our neighbours?The top five Kindle bestsellerThe small suburb of Pleasant Court lives up to its name. It's the kind of place where everyone knows their neighbours, and children play in the street.Isabelle Heatherington doesn't fit into this picture of family paradise. Husbandless and childless, she soon captures the attention of three Pleasant Court mothers. But Ange, Fran and Essie have their own secrets to hide. Like the reason behind Ange's compulsion to control every aspect of her life. Or why Fran won't let her sweet, gentle husband near her new baby. Or why, three years ago, Essie took her daughter to the park and returned home without her.As their obsession with their new neighbour grows, the secrets of these three women begin to spread - and they're about to find out that when you look at something too closely, you'll see things you never wanted to see.A gripping domestic page-turner full of shocking reveals, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty (TRULY MADLY GUILTY, THE HUSBAND'S SECRET), Amanda Prowse (THE ART OF HIDING, THE IDEA OF YOU) and Kerry Fisher (AFTER THE LIE, THE SECRET CHILD).What the readers are saying'It's a MUST read. Gone Girl & Big Little Lies all in one...but better!!!''It could be written about people I know, and people I've lived next to. And initially that's where my head space was while I was reading it. But then it veered off a little into something a tad larger...and that was okay, because at it's center was still that core nugget of wonder and knowledge that you just don't ever really know what's going on behind closed doors. It would make a great book club selection also, as the discussion fodder is endless. Secrets, betrayal, infidelity, motherhood, postpartum depression, mental health issues, sexuality, trust, friendship. . .''The Family Next Door is almost a one seating read as once in Pleasant Street, the reader will not want to leave''Part domestic drama, part almost-thriller. Never a dull moment!'

John Murray

Sight

Jessie Greengrass
Authors:
Jessie Greengrass
Two Roads

The Keeper of Lost Things

Ruth Hogan
Authors:
Ruth Hogan
Hodder & Stoughton

The Big Over Easy

Jasper Fforde
Authors:
Jasper Fforde