by Sarah Haywood

Out now

It’s never too late to bloom …

The Cactus will be compared to Gail Honeyman’s 2017 hit, the appealingly eccentric Eleanor Oliphant Is Absolutely Fine

The Sunday Times

‘An original, engaging, and totally believable character’

Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project

‘Wonderfully funny and astute’


‘This book is charming and easy to read, the perfect tonic to this absurdly grey February’

The Pool

‘Funny, compelling, well-written…for fans of Marian Keyes who demand a bit of grit in their comic writing’

Emerald Street

‘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

‘Glorious … yet another sodding debut that’s so good it makes me want to rip out my own eyes, and also not because then I wouldn’t be able to read … it twists and turns through human nature wonderfully … a book you just want to read at any opportunity.’

Kat Brown

‘A tender book about leaving your comfort zone’

Bride Magazine

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, and that’s all she needs. 

At forty-five, 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.

When she discovers that her mother’s will inexplicably favours her brother, Susan sets out to prove that Edward and his equally feckless friend Rob somehow coerced this dubious outcome. But when problems closer to home become increasingly hard to ignore, she finds help in the most unlikely of places.

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.



Germany                 USA/Can                   Italy

 The Cactus - Italian edition


SarahHayward by Rebecca Thomas © Hodder & Stoughton 2017

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.

Sarah’s website

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