Miss Benson's Beetle

 By: Rachel Joyce  

Location: FIC JOY

Genre: Fiction- Backman,Joyce, Elinor Oliphant, Albom...

I enjoyed this read, I enjoy Joyce books. Her best is her first but this is still a great little read.  I cant decide which female character I would prefer to be?  Perhaps I am one but would not want to be, but be the other one instead..

Margery Benson’s life ended the day her father walked out of his study and never came back. Forty years later, abandoning a dull job, she advertises for an assistant. The successful candidate is to accompany Margery on an expedition to the other side of the world to search for a beetle that may or may not exist. Enid Pretty is not who she had in mind. But together they will find themselves drawn into an adventure that exceeds all Margery’s expectations, eventually finding new life at the top of a red mountain.

This is a story that is less about what can be found than the belief it might be found; it is an intoxicating adventure story and it is also a tender exploration of a friendship between two unforgettable women that defies all boundaries.

"In 1950, 47 year old, frumpy spinster Miss Margery Benson walks out of her job as a domestic science teacher, after being humiliated by her students and decides she is going to follow her childhood dream of finding a rare beetle in the wilds of New Caledonia. Accompanying her, as the most unlikely of companions, is the young and attractive Enid Pretty.

This novel was a delight to read. Rachel Joyce creates such wonderful characters and Margery and Enid are both marvelously human and flawed. Totally unalike, they both experienced difficult upbringings, and are destined to become great friends after they share many adventures and hardships together. While Margery is naive and unaccustomed to dealing with people, she is organised and knowledgeable when it comes to beetles and Enid's street smarts is put to good use to plug any deficiencies in their plans. Over the months they spend together, they will both change, finding strengths they never knew they had. There is much humour in their relationship and exploits but also sadness and a wonderful ending. Highly recommended!"

"Joyce's creation and development of Marjery and Enid is sublime in a narrative stuffed full of misadventures, tragedy and joy, testing times that bring out their resilience and endurance in the face of such challenging experiences. There is a broken former soldier, a POW in Burma, Mundic, delusional, suffering PTSD, suffering huge problematic mental health issues, who becomes obsessed with and stalks Marjery. This is a wonderfully atmospheric, captivating, touching, vibrant, humorous and engaging read of faith, belief and hope which I adored"


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