It is 1950. In a devastating moment of clarity, Margery Benson abandons her dead-end 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 her unlikely pink travel suit, is not the companion Margery had in mind. And yet together they will be drawn into an adventure that will exceed every expectation. They will risk everything, break all the rules, and at the top of a red mountain, discover their best selves.
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 but it is also about what it means to be a woman and a tender exploration of a friendship that defies all boundaries.
This was an interesting read, and not what I expected at all. Margery is clearly a woman who has never felt comfortable or at home in the world, so it was wonderful to see her grow and change through this novel, stepping into who she wanted to be and owning her identity.
Enid was quite entertaining. I enjoyed her growth as well, and she was a perfect foil for Margery and her straightlaced ways. A solid, entertaining read.
Rachel Joyce is a bestselling author. Miss Benson’s Beetle is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of Random House in exchange for an honest review.)