The Cactus
by Sarah Haywood
Discussion Questions:
1. Part of the enjoyment of the novel is seeing Susan soften and let people into her life. What do you think contributes the most to Susan's transformation as a character?

2. How much do you think Susan's childhood shaped her and made her keep the world and relationships at bay?

3. Susan is a type A who likes to keep a tight hold on her control of even the smallest details of her life. Why do you think this is? How does losing control change her life?

4. Rob tells Susan that she'd be good for him and he'd be fantastic for her. Do you think he's right?

5. Whether or not Susan and Edward will continue to play a part in one another's lives is left open at the end of the novel. Should family always stick together, or do we sometimes have to accept that the differences are too great?

6. Discuss how the theme of motherhood plays out in the book. How does Susan's relationship with her own mother impact her attitude about becoming a mother herself?

7. Susan approaches romantic love much like one would approach a business transaction. Do you think Susan has ever experienced true love? Does she come to experience it by the end of the book?

8. Susan Green is a prickly individual. We've all known someone like her, but is there a little bit of Susan in all of us?

9. We only see people and their motives through the eyes of Susan, who isn't always right. Is she honest with herself and the reader?

10. What is the significance of the title?



Book Club Talking Points:

There are some poignant life lessons in this story. The fact that sometimes we have to let go in life and allow life to happen is just one. The story focuses on family drama through Susan's complex relationship with her brother. There's also lots to discuss about human vulnerability and creating barriers for protection.
(Discussion Questions by Publisher)


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