IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO BLOOM
People aren’t sure what to make of Susan Green—a prickly independent woman, who has everything just the way she wants it and who certainly has no need for messy emotional relationships.
Family and colleagues find her standoffish 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.
The Cactus was a lot like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Except, here the protagonist Susan does not exactly have any mental illness. She just has an emotional range of a teaspoon and very little tolerance for bullshit. Add to that an unexpected pregnancy and a family drama regarding her mother’s will.
Susan is cynical and closed off. Her behavior is kind of hard to get used to at first. She lives an ordered life with a job perfect for her. Susan likes to live an isolated life with minimal social interactions. But then her unexpected pregnancy and a court case with her good-for-nothing brother over their mother’s will forces her to have to rely on others. What follows is a journey of growth.
I like how the author takes us through flashbacks to give us a better idea about why Susan is the way she is. For example, at first her bitterness and disdain towards her brother seems almost unwarranted. I found her to be unreasonably cruel towards her brother. But as we slowly get glimpses into her past, we discover that her behavior is not unreasonable after all.
I was not completely wowed by the ending. I had an idea about what the big secret was by the time it got revealed. I also could’ve done without the romance however little it was. My favorite thing about the book was Susan’s journey of self-growth. Everything else was not as impressive. I could not help comparing the book with Eleanor Oliphant and that made it less enjoyable for me. My bad.
My Rating: ★★★☆☆