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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2020 Rachel Joyce (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Miss Benson's Beetle

Average Customer Ratings
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Loved the characters

This is a delightful reàd, a Thelma and Louise type adventure. Insightful, humerous, thought provoking,

1 person found this helpful

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New vacation destination

What a great story! I laughed and I cried. I couldn't help but cheer on this unlikely duo in their adventures, tragedies and triumphs. what a ride. and now I am planning a vacation to New Caledonia.

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So pleased I took my daughter's recommendation

Extremely well told and thre reading was an excellent performance.

Excellent character portrayals.

There are one or 2 "scenes" that are far fetched and didn't have to be but otherwise inspiring, particularly for women of most ages.

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Now in my top ten!

I simply loved this book and the reader’s performance. I laughed. I cried. I did not want the book to end. I have become a Rachel Joyce fan.

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  • LB
  • 2022-03-10

Sweet story

A bit slow in the middle but stick with it. A sweet story with endearing characters, much like Harold Fry by the same author.

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Such a great escape and adventure

This was such a good read, I feel like I've lost a couple of good friends now that the book has come to an end.

An inspiration for anyone who might feel like they are in a rutt.

T

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Delightful Book

Thoroughly enjoyed this story and narration. The writing was both playful and intense. The characters indelibly inked in my mind. Thanks 🙏🏽

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it was OK...

This was an okay book that lots of people will enjoy. Its about women following their dreams and making friends with unlikely people, has some funny bits. Very minimal darkness and trauma, so I thought it was a little dull.

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So different and so amazing

Different topic but draws you into the story. Lots of interesting directions. Also love the mix of characters. It is a feel good book and I recommend it!

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What a treat!

I absolutely loved this book. It made me laugh out loud, and it made me cry. If a book doesn’t capture my imagination almost immediately I usually don’t persevere. But that was never going to be a problem with Miss Benson’s Beetle. From the opening lines, to the image I was left with on the last page, it made me want to gobble it up...but not want to let it go. A great read. Thank you Rachel Joyce..and Audible Canada.

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  • Tracey
  • 2020-09-24

One of those never put down books.

A wonderful story. One of those books you don't want to end. You want to hear more of their adventure the more it develops. Just when you think thats it...another twist happens...and keeps you wanting more.
Love the friendship they develop and the discovery that you never too old or too young to go on that adventure. You never know what lies ahead of you don't take that first step.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jane F. Clifton
  • 2021-11-17

An unexpected pleasure

Such a twee title I didn't think I'd like it. But it was narrated by Juliet Stevenson which is always a good sign.
And I loved it! Such a wonderful, quirky story. Yes, nostalgic in some ways but so beautifully told and with enough twists and turns to stop you getting out of the car before the end of the chapter. It inspired me to read more by Rachel Joyce and I have now ripped through The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - not so many laughs but still a great listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2022-04-06

ahmazing!

it checked all my boxes !
adventure
thrill
devotion
simplicity
nature
human bonding
emotions
failure
second wave
determination
human faults
human valour

this book will remain with me for long. narrator has a huge part as well
great work.
thank you for the pleasure of listening.

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  • Sarah Vaulbert
  • 2022-02-25

Wonderful to listen to. It’s really well read

Wonderful to listen to. It’s really well read.loved the characters and the story. Mrs Benson is a tough nut and she’s wonderful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2022-01-29

Such a wonderful experience

Loved it! One cannot help to experience all the emotions with the characters. I
I laughed out loud and even cried a little with them. Although it is a post-war story with some serious themes, it does not drag you down. It is quite different from other hostorical fiction books. The story is an absolute adventure!

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  • Nicki
  • 2022-01-10

An unexpected delight

This book took me by complete surprise, having not read any previous reviews. What an absolute delight. So different, so interesting, so empowering. A powerful message to get up and go follow your dreams!

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  • Margaret
  • 2021-12-16

Wonderful story / Fabulous narrator

I wasn't sure about this book when I bought it but i love the narrator and thought I would give it a try. I am so glad I did.
The story is funny and sad. The two main characters are the complete opposite of each other but I loved both of them equally. Juliet Stevenson narration makes all the characters jump off the page. Do yourself a favor and give this wonderful book a listen!

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  • Charlotte Borg
  • 2021-12-13

pink pompons and golden beetles


Well, sadly, I have had to bid Enid and Marg farewell as I have just finished their delightful bitter-sweet tale of adventure, believing determinedly in — and pursuing - one’s dreams, succeeding female in a world where all men hold privilege, surviving, then resolutely and joyfully thriving in a world laid desolate by war, massive loss, unutterable grief and unkindness. The unshakeable sustenance and redemption of the main characters through the discovery of, and then coming to, love, friendship, sisterhood, motherhood filled my heart and hours with sheer delight, laughter, sadness, and above all, entertainment. One of my favourite books, ever.

The stalker’s presence and role in the novel annoyed me thoroughly till I came to understand his role as less of a wounded character wounding others and deserving of compassion nonetheless but more of an archetype representing the masculine in a world weighted against the female often to the extreme of violence and murder.

I loved the comic moments - Marg climbing in and out of hammocks, Marg on a mule, Enid and her “bon sure”; thé moments of courage - the sore hip, the torn feet, the pink pompon. Marg and her discovery of an ocean of golden beetles, her life’s epiphany (one of many) at the moment of that discovery, rendered beautifully by the author. There is only one other such description in literature, in my opinion, and that is the moment when Levin witnesses Kitty giving birth to his son in Anna Karenina - that experience of existence dissolved between earth and another realm - ecstasy, I think.

I hope we find other books like this. I’m ready for them.

And oh - I did not know New Caledonia existed - and one thing even this novel couldn’t change was my dislike of beetles, splendid though they be.

So thank you for bringing this experience my way and I am sorry it’s over.

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  • LN
  • 2021-12-05

Very slow getting into a story

I read a lot, but this I wanted to return till almost the end

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  • Hadas Lavy
  • 2021-11-02

Nice story, especially the first half

really enjoyed listening to this book. it was a bit dragged out but still a good listen. funny and well told.