Rachel Joyce is the author of the New York Times bestseller Miss Benson’s Beetle, The Music Shop, the Sunday Times and international bestsellers The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Perfect, and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, as well as a collection of interlinked short stories, A Snow Garden & Other Stories.
Photograph by Pal Hansen
Miss Benson’s Beetle
This instant New York Times bestseller is the unforgettable, funny and charming story of a marvellous adventure and unexpected female friendship, from the author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.
It is 1950. 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 adventure that exceeds all expectations. They must risk everything and break all the rules, but at the top of a red mountain they will discover their best selves.
Questions for Readers Harold’s journey is both physical and metaphorical. He is not the only character in the novel to go on a journey and Rachel Joyce has said that writing the book was in itself a journey. What other literary journeys does this novel call to mind? Harold says he…
There was a time we always invited friends for New Year’s Eve. We asked them to bring nothing but a piece of music they liked. Come dusk, the house would be packed; first we ate, then we sat round, listening carefully to one another’s tracks, and explaining why that music…