Top positive review
19 people found this helpful
Great book - Ulysses is the next great Character!
on 13 November 2005
Arabella is one of my favourite Heyer books and part of its charm are the amusing conversations that Beaumaris has with the little dog Ulysses. The central idea that because Arabella isn’t interested in Beaumaris, that piques his interest and makes him pursue her, works quite well except it’s never entirely clear what it is about her that DOES attract him. Yes, she’s pretty – although younger than his usual lady, but she is also innocent and unworldly and therefore makes mistakes that he appears (rather surprisingly) to find charming; she foists young orphans, mongrel dogs and penniless brothers on him (not usually guaranteed to snare your man) and she withholds the truth of her fortune from him – not knowing that he already knows it.
Beaumaris starts the book seeming jaded, bored – the typical rich Heyer hero (although untitled this time), but he seems to become more and more amiable as the book goes on, going against his better judgement in order to humour her in many areas (such as Jemmy the Climbing Boy that he takes in). His conversations with the dog are fantastic though – Heyer occasionally includes dogs in her books and she always gives a wonderfully affectionate and amusing portrait, such as Lufra in the book Frederica and Bouncer in The Reluctant Widow.
The book is a great fun read, with lots of interesting characters well-drawn. For me the only real disappointment is that we never really know quite why Beaumaris falls in love with Arabella, apart from her innocence and freshness, and also why he is so sure that she does really like him when she has given him so little encouragement.
Despite these negative comments, read it and enjoy it. It’s well worth it!