Miss Benson’s Beetle

It is 1950.  Two mismatched women find themselves thrown together on a voyage to New Caledonia, both leaving for very distinct reasons.  Margery and Enid soon come to realize that sometimes the most important relationships in our lives come from a different kind of love:  friendship. Miss Benson’s Beetle is a pilgrimage of sorts, made by Miss Benson, one of a stifled generation of “leftover women” who are marking time in the aftermath of the second world war.  Forty something Miss Benson is a disappointed domestic science teacher showing girls how to do household chores until a final straw of humiliation inspires her to set off to New Caledonia on a reckless mission to find a golden beetle.  

Margery acquires an unlikely assistant, Enid Pretty—all yellow hair and inappropriate footwear—and together they survive the comic journey to the South Pacific.  

This novel is a joy with real insights into the lives of women, the value of friendship and the lasting effects of war.  Highly recommended, especially the audio.  (review is a combination of reviews from sources including The Guardian)https://www.bookreporter.com/reviews/miss-bensons-beetle