Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce.
“The differences between them – all those things she’d once found so infuriating – she now accepted. Being Enid’s friend meant there were always going to be surprises. However close they were it didn’t entitle her to Enid’s memories and neither did it allow her to be part of Enid’s life before they met. Being a friend meant accepting those unknowable things. It was by placing herself side by side with Enid that Margery had finally begun to see the true out-line of herself.
And she knew it now: Enid was her friend.”Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce.
It is 1950, two unlikely women set off on a hare-brained adventure
to the other side of the world to try and find a beetle, and in doing so
discover friendship and how to be their best of themselves.
Britain, post Second World War. In a moment of madness Margery
Benson abandons her sensible job and advertises for an assistant to
accompany her on an expedition. She is going to travel to the other side
of the world to search for a beetle that may or may not exist.
Enid Pretty, in pink hat and pompom sandals, is not the companion she had in mind. But together they will find themselves drawn into an ad-
venture that exceeds all expectations. They must risk everything, break all the rules, but at the top of a red mountain they will discover who
they truly are, and how to be the best ofthemselves.
This is a novel that is less about what can be found than the belief it
might be found; it is an intoxicating adventure story but it is also about
what it means to be a woman and a tender exploration of a friendship that defies all boundaries.
Firstly can I just say that I adore Rachel Joyce’s books. I have never been disappointed from the very first moment I was introduced to Harold Fry and Miss Benson’s Beetle, in my opinion, is another diamond in her growing collection of wonderful fiction.
A few years ago I attended the North Cornwall Book Festival and was lucky enough to listen to Rachel talk with the equally lovely Patrick Gale. She talked about her characters and how they haunted her like ghosts whilst she wrote their story. As I read this latest tale I could totally imagine Miss Benson and Enid sitting with her as she wrote about their adventures, telling her the trials and tribulations they faced on their quest to find the Golden Beetle of New Caledonia.
With Miss Benson’s Beetle, Rachel has, as always, taken us on a journey. A wonderful, sometimes slightly crazy journey, at a time when the world is still recovering from two world wars. As is Miss Benson. This was such a gorgeous read and I couldn’t help but be swept along with Miss Benson on her strange but rather thrilling (although at times rather unnerving) journey across the world to discover a beetle that has been a dream since childhood but also discover the gift of friendship. I absolutely adored travelling alongside them and thoroughly recommend this wonderful novel.
Miss Benson’s Beetle is available now in ebook, audionbook and in the most beautiful hardback edition. Rachel Joyce fans will not be disappointed and if you haven’t read any Rachel Joyce then may I suggest you do so as soon as possible.
Many thanks to the lovely Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this Random Things Blog Tour and to the lovely team at Doubleday for the digital copy. This was one tour I most certainly couldn’t say no to,
About the author
Rachel Joyce is the author of the Sunday Times and international bestsellers The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Perfect, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, The Music Shop and a collection of interlinked
short stories, A Snow Garden & Other Stories. Her books have been translated into thirty-six languages and two are in development for film.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Rachel was awarded the Specsavers National Book Awards ‘New Writer of the Year’ in December 201 2 and shortlisted for the ‘UK Author of the Year’ 201 4. Rachel was a Costa prize judge and University Big Read author in 2019.
She has also written over twenty original afternoon plays and adaptations of the classics for BBC Radio 4, including all the Bronte novels. She moved to writing after a long career as an actor, performing leading roles
for the RSC, the National Theatre and Cheek by Jowl. She lives with her family in Gloucestershire.