Sunday, April 4, 2021

Miss Benson's Beetle; Rachel Joyce and Sunday Catch-Up

 


Happy Easter to those who celebrate. In normal times I'd host a dinner or brunch but, since part of our family hasn't been eligible for vaccination yet (soon though) we will skip the family get-together for one more Easter.  I was able to see (2) of my granddaughters at our house earlier in the week to give them their presents so that was a nice treat.  Do you have any plans for Easter?

On the vaccination front, both my husband and I are fully vaccinated. I got my second dose of the Moderna vaccine on Friday and the only real side effect has been extreme fatigue but, of course, I just don't sleep well anymore either.  Our first real restaurant dining will be in early May for our anniversary which we will be looking forward to.   For those of you who are fully vaccinated, did you or your family have any side effects?

Hope you all have a great week - and now for my review of Miss Benson's Beetle which I had finished the end of March.


 

TITLE/AUTHORMiss Benson's Beetle; Rachel Joyce

PUBLISHER: Dial Press

YEAR PUBLISHED: 2020

GENRE: Fiction / Historical / Womens

FORMAT:  eGalley /LENGTH: 368 pages

SOURCE: Net Galley

SETTING(s):  England; South Pacific (New Caledonia)


ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  A lonely woman's quest to find the elusive "golden beetle."


BRIEF REVIEW:  Margery Benson 46, is an awkward, plain, middle-aged woman who has never married.  She taught home economics to rude, disrespectful, teenaged girls but, after an incident where she was mocked and laughed at Margery's decided she has had enough.  Since childhood, she has had an obsession with beetles so she decides it is time that she takes a chance and pursue her passion and quest of the elusive "golden beetle."

She decides she will need an assistant for her journey to the South Pacific so she places an ad and does some interviews. She ends up with her last choice,  the younger, flashy, talkative, Enid Pretty - her polar opposite in every way.  They make a crazy pair but embark on an outlandish adventure and face many obstacles along the way including a stalker-like antagonist who suffered from PTSD.

With a combination of both light-heart, laughable moments to more serious situations, this is a story that also has some difficult themes like childhood trauma, abusive relationships and PTSD.  A very unusual story to say the least.  I loved how eccentric and charming the women were and how a real caring friendship developed between them. I did think the antagonist character with PTSD seemed unnecessary to the overall story but, despite that I enjoyed this quirky and touching story.

RATING:  4/5 stars

MEMORABLE QUOTES: 

"They made a ridiculous pair, as they chased the porter, like a brown ostrich coupled with a pink-hatted canary."

"You might have traveled to the other side of the world, but in the end it made no difference: whatever devastating unhappiness was inside of you would come too."

29 comments:

  1. Happy Easter! And yay for getting your second dose of the vaccine. :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's a cute book! I'm glad you're all vaccinated up and Happy Easter from all of us!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've seen this book reviewed on so many blogs but I'm still not sure I want to read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's quirky and serious. A very different kind of story.

      Delete
  4. Happy Easter and congrats on being fully vaccinated!!! My husband and I were fully vaccinated late February (Pfizer), I had extreme tiredness on the second one too......still haven't been in a restaurant and am still quite nervous about it because Michigan's numbers have skyrocketed (we had over 8000 cases of COVID yesterday) and the vaccine isn't 100% effective. If I go to a restaurant at all will try and eat outside!!! Enjoy your day!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caren, we are not going on any planes or staying in hotels etc any time soon but, we will venture out slow and safe.

      Delete
  5. Good on your second vax! I had a few hours of chills and brain fog about 24 hours after, then I was fine. It seems so various among different people and harder for the younger ones. The Beetle book sounds kind of good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judy, I know someone else (late 60s) who claims prolonged "brain fog" since getting the second vaccine? It would seem like a rare side effect to last?

      Delete
  6. I'm so happy that you were able to get your second dose of the vaccine. Both my daughters-in-law and my son were able to get their first dose this week, and that makes me very happy. We aren't able to get together yet, but it won't be long.

    And, yes, I thought the characters in Miss Benson's Beetle were delightfully eccentric. I also loved how the two women were able to go after their dreams.

    Happy Easter!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree that the male character wasn't really necessary, but I'm glad you enjoyed this book.

    I had only a sore arm after my first Pfizer shot and after the second this past week I had a few hours of arm/leg muscle fatigue and once that disappeared a slight headache for a couple hours. But, really, not bad at all and I did not take the day off work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Minor side effects are so worth it, I feel like my joints (knees) hurt a bit more that normal,

      Delete
  8. I got my first Pfizer vaccine Friday and the only side effects were a bit of a sore arm. I've heard the reactions for the second one are worse so I'm a little worried but it will be worth it. I've had some family that have had pretty rough side effects (fever, body aches, etc) but they were really short lived and it is absolutely worth it! Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Happy Easter and congratulations on getting your second vaccine! I've got mine coming up on Thursday. Two weeks later I'll get a haircut and a pedicure... can't wait. Also excited about going out to lunch or dinner. My husband was fatigued after his second dose, but no serious side effects. Hope I'm as lucky.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think fatigue is the #1 side effect of dose 2. It will be nice to venture out slowly.

      Delete
  10. Late Easter greetings.
    I had the first vaccine only. Just felt sleepy for 24 hours. After that fine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy you were able to get started with the vaccine process. relief--

      Delete
  11. Happy Easter! Like you, we got to see our grandson for the first time since Christmas, so that was wonderful. It was a garden visit as we're not allowed into other people's houses yet, but gardens are now allowed.

    We're not fully vaccinated, but we've both had one each. My husband had the Oxford/AZ jab and had no reaction whatsoever apart from a sore arm for a week or so. I had the Pfizer and had no reaction at all. I've read that you're more likely to get reaction from a second Pfizer jab and that people over 70 are the most likely not to get any reaction at all. Whether this is backed up by science is anyone's guess. :-)

    I completely agree with you that the antagonistic character in Miss Benson was superfluous, he really jarred with me. The death devastated me at the end, but the photo was wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So nice that you got to see the grandkids. Yes, I guess the reason many seniors do not have any side effects (my husband) is that some have weaker immune systems.

      Delete
  12. Yeah, the guy following them around was strange.

    I love the book and I loved the epilogue.

    ReplyDelete
  13. So great that you are both vaccinated. We are waiting for our second shot later this month. Really curious about this book. That last quote you posted - oh boy, so true.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I had a lot of tiredness the day after the second shot but nothing else. I would so love to eat at a restaurant but with kids not been vaccinated yet, I'm not sure. We'll look for some outdoor dining area that's well spread out - maybe that will help.

    Been hearing good things about Miss Benson's Beetle - I'll have to check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Just got my second vaccination today! I'm prepared to take it easy this weekend, but am hopeful that I won't have any adverse side affects. I'll have to check out Miss Benson's Beetle. Sounds like a good read!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thanks again for visiting.