Thursday, 2 July 2020

Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce

Life has forced Margery Benson into a dead-end teaching job which she's never enjoyed. Then one day in an uncharacteristic moment of passion, she storms out of school, burns her bridges and decides to pursue her one dream, to find the undiscovered Golden Beetle of New Caledonia; an insect which has long been rumoured to exist but which no one has caught and categorised. To help on her quest, Margery will need an assistant - one as practical and down to earth as herself; one with stout shoes and practical clothing, able to cope with jungle, heat, and the basic living conditions they'll have have to tolerate on their expedition. Instead, she ends up with Enid Pretty; petite, curvaceous, and dressed head to toe in pink - possibly the most impractical explorer's outfit ever!

Miss Benson's Beetle is a light-hearted, engaging, feminist tale of adventure and adversity, of over-coming the odds with the help of one's friend, and attempting to fulfill one's long-held dreams.
Together they make the most unlikely pair, but Enid refuses to be left behind, so they set out to the other side of the world on a journey of discovery, of both beetles and friendship. Margery and Enid are perhaps the most unlikely two women to ever imagine as friends, but, thrown together by circumstances and Enid's determination to not be left behind, a bond gradually grows between them. Both have long-held dreams, and New Caledonia looks like the place they might come true.


  1. I wondered about this one. My fear of the fine line between light-hearted and twee.

    1. I don't think anyone could call it 'twee', although at times it might seem predictable, but if you're expecting a 'serious' book it could fall flat. Light-hearted is definitely the word for it.