FROM THE BOOK JACKET: 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.
Rachel Joyce is a British author. She has written plays for BBC Radio Four, and jointly won the 2007 Tinniswood Award for her To Be a Pilgrim
. Her debut novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
, was on the longlist for the 2012 Man Booker Prize. In December 2012, she was awarded the "New Writer of the Year" award by the National Book Awards for the novel The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
. Her second novel, Perfect
, was published on 4 July 2013 to critical acclaim. She lives in Gloucestershire with her husband and four children.