Miss Benson’s Beetle

Have you ever had one of those days when you just can’t take it anymore? Have you felt like you needed a new start, perhaps a chance to follow your lifelong dream? Miss Benson had one of those days! Humiliated by her students, she steals a pair of boots and sets sail to New Caledonia to search for a legendary golden beetle.

This novel is a light read filled with quirky characters who are trying their best, but who keep making horrible choices. I would recommend this book to readers who like to read about interesting places and who believe you’re never too old to change. Although the book is set in the 1950s, it raises very contemporary issues such as body image, gender roles, and PTSD. The plot will make you laugh, but still give you something to think about.

You may be familiar with the author Rachel Joyce from her earlier book The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, which is about a different type of journey. Miss Benson’s Beetle is also a perfect choice for readers who enjoyed Where’d You Go, Bernadette, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, or This is Your Life, Harriet Chance.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick This is Your Life, Harriet Chance by Jonathan Evison