June 4, 2019
1st Line/1st Paragraph: The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
I’m linking up this week with Vicki @ I’d Rather Be At The Beach who hosts a meme every Tuesday to share the First Chapter/First Paragraph of the book you are currently reading.
I’m pleased to share the first line and first paragraph of The Cactus by Sarah Haywood. If you follow the Reese Witherspoon Instagram Book Club @reesesbookclubxhellosunshine this is her June pick. I don’t always read the selections, but she had me at “quirky” character.
From Amazon: In this charming and poignant debut, one woman’s unconventional journey to finding love means learning to embrace the unexpected. 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.
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links
Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, England, Family Life, Mothers/Daughters
1st Line/1st Paragraph:
I’m not a woman who bears grudges, broods over disagreements or questions other people’s motives. Neither do I feel compelled to win an argument at any cost. As with all rules, of course, there are exceptions. I won’t stand idly by while one person’s being exploited by another, and the same goes when I’m the one being exploited; I’ll do everything within my means to ensure that Justice prevails. Not surprisingly, then, the events that have unfolded this month have left me with no choice but to take immediate and decisive action.
I have read about 61% of The Cactus by Sarah Haywood. My first impression is that Susan is more unlikeable and difficult than quirky. For me, quirky is a word that has an endearing component. Susan is prickly! She is set in her ways and her life is regimented and compartmentalized…..perhaps she is on the spectrum or has suffered some trauma. In addition, she doesn’t have a great relationship with her mother or her brother, and her alcoholic father (for whom she did feel more affection) has died. Susan experienced a great deal of distress in childhood because of her alcoholic father’s behaviors, she doesn’t have many real friends, and she is not close to her extended family. When we first meet her, she’s a loner and runs her lonely life efficiently. I’m gradually warming up to Susan and she may be endearing before story’s end. The blurb on the book indicates that if readers love Eleanor Oliphant, they will love this book. The jury is still out on that point. So far, Eleanor still holds the gold standard of quirky (and endearing)! If you love quirky, you might want to give The Cactus a try. The first paragraph is interesting because the story so far feels exactly like “exceptions” to her rules! I’m invested in finding out how this turns out for her. Stay tuned for my full review in a few weeks…
QOTD: Do you love stories about quirky characters?
If you follow my reviews you know I have a soft spot for quirky characters. I think I’ll do a full post on this subject in the near future.
Who’s your favorite quirky character?
I have reviews coming soon for On the Come Up, The Lost For Words Bookshop, The Cactus, and The River.
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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
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