Mr. Allbones' Ferrets
St. Martin’s, Aug 4 2009
In the late nineteenth century in England, ferret whisperer and breeder Walter Allbones meets naturalist and rare bird collector Mr. Pitford and his lovely granddaughter Eugenia when his pets poach rabbits to bring to him from the nearby estate owned by the scientist. They sort of catch him in the act. He agrees to provide Mr. Pitford with ferrets to be shipped to New Zealand to control the out of control rabbit infestation.
Walter is attracted to Eugenia and as much to the money he can make selling his ferrets. The pair chaperoned by grandpa begins an international trek to sell his ferrets. As their journey continues Walter believes he loves Eugenia, but fears her reaction would end their friendship. He does not understanding she begins to reciprocate his feelings in spite of his emitting the stinky odor of ferret sweat to her olfactory sense.
This is an interesting amusing historical tale with a wonderful romantic subplot that enhances Fiona Farrell’s satirical homage to Darwin as mustelids and ferrets play matchmakers, but not the way readers would expect. The story line is whimsical with solid characters having differing personalities. Fans who relish something different and do not demonize evolution will enjoy this irreverent look at relationships, human and otherwise, that both highly respect in awe and cheekily mock also in awe Darwin.