Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce is the official May 2022 pick for the Peanut Blossom Book Club for Recovering Readers.
Normally for our May book club pick I like to choose a story with a mothering theme in honor of Mother's Day.
This year, I thought it would be fun to read a story about a middle aged woman heading off on a life-changing adventure with a friend as a reminder that we are never to old to try something daring and new.
This month's book pick was strongly recommended by several of our book club members during their reviews last year and I can't wait to dig in!
P.S. Just joining us? Don't miss the full 2022 line-up for our book club picks.
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May Official Book Club Pick: Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce
I’m pleased to announce that this is our official May Pick for this year.
Get your copy of this month’s book club pick:
Money-saving tricks for reading this month’s book pick:
- You can get the book from your library.
- You can buy a used copy here.
- Check to see if the Kindle version is on sale.
What is this month's book about?
"She’s going too far to go it alone.
It is 1950. London is still reeling from World War II, and Margery Benson, a schoolteacher and spinster, is trying to get through life, surviving on scraps. One day, she reaches her breaking point, abandoning her job and small existence to set out on an expedition to the other side of the world in search of her childhood obsession: an insect that may or may not exist—the golden beetle of New Caledonia.
When she advertises for an assistant to accompany her, the woman she ends up with is the last person she had in mind.
Fun-loving Enid Pretty in her tight-fitting pink suit and pom-pom sandals seems to attract trouble wherever she goes. But together these two British women find themselves drawn into a cross-ocean adventure that exceeds all expectations and delivers something neither of them expected to find: the transformative power of friendship."
Read the full description of the book here.
Discussion Questions for Miss Benson's Beetle
You can find the online discussion among our book club members for Miss Benson's Beetle here.
But if you're hosting a book club party for your friends, here are some questions to help guide your discussion.
What did you think of this month's pick? Is it something you would have picked for yourself?
Who would you cast in a movie adaptation for Miss Benson and Enid?
Why was the golden beetle so important to Miss Benson?
Do you have a "golden beetle" in your life?
What did you think was going to be inside the red valise? Were you surprised when it was finally opened?
Margery Benson goes on the adventure of a lifetime in search of her beetle and visits places far outside her comfort zone.
What is the farthest or most daring trip you've ever taken?
Where is the farthest you'd be willing to go?
Enid becomes Margery's surprise "ride or die" friend. Who would you want with you on your next adventure?
How did you feel about how the men were portrayed in this book? Do you agree with this presentation?
Did the ending of the book ruin the rest of the story for you or did you feel it was a fitting way to wrap up the story?
Book Club Party Menu
Miss Benson is on an adventure to New Caledonia which is a French territory in the Caribbean. For your book club party menu, how about serving some fun tropical-themed party foods like creamy pineapple and coconut fruit dip, savory crab melts, or an appetizer sized Caribbean soup and platter of roasted pineapple and peppers?
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