Disclaimer: This book was kindly gifted to me by Penguin Random House SA in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Miss Benson’s Beetle: An Uplifting and Redemptive Story of a Glorious Female Friendship Against the Odds; Author: Rachel Joyce; Published: August 2020; Publisher: Penguin; Genre: Historical Fiction; Page Count: 388
Miss Benson’s Beetle starts off in 1914 when Margery Benson was 10 years old, her father showed her a book of magical creatures, none more fantastic than the golden beetle of New Caledonia. So we get to know Margery when she was young and the book alternates between the past and present moment. The present is 36 years later when Margey is jobless and alone but determined to find that beetle no matter what. In order to achieve this goal, she realises that she needs an assistant thus, she places an advertisement in the newspaper for a French-speaking assistant, an ad to which only four people apply. After the interviews, she’s sure that she got her assistant but little did she know that things will take a turn.
This was one book where I fell in love with a character without even knowing much about her and that continued throughout the book. The way Rachel presented her characters was just amazingly executed and I loved the writing style. The characters are amazing, funny and relatable. I cried, laughed got really emotional throughout the book.
This book deals with friendship perfectly and the fact that it’s female-oriented stood out for me. These women supported each other’s dreams with everything they could offer and it was amazing watching their friendship blossom into something profound.
I highly recommend this book. I know people might be sceptical to pick it up as its historical fiction, but I assure you that you’ll enjoy it. Please pick it up and let me know what you think after. This is one book I think you should go into without knowing a lot so that you can fully experience how phenomenal it is.
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.
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