He had me hooked when I first read The Small House at Allington and reeled me in for good with The Warden. I have read all of the Barsetshire and Palliser Chronicles (six volumes each). Some were better than others, but all were pleasing.
I had mixed feelings about Rachel Ray. First, this book was more of a straight love story than the others which may be a plus to most people, but I enjoy plots with a little more complexity. Second, although Rachel was a lovely young woman, I was frustrated by her lack of gumption. When her sweetheart was denied her, she basically wilted away. All of my favorite heroines suffer the loss of love (Jane Eyre, Anne Elliot, Elizabeth Bennett), but they persevere and live fruitful lives until their faithfulness is rewarded.
Third, I read the first half of the book with the vague feeling that something was missing. On page 275 I laughed out loud and then realized that Trollope’s wit had been absent in most of the previous pages. I always contend that his books can be dry, but that the witticisms keep you going. In the case of this book, you don’t get much pay off till the second half. If you’ve never read Trollope, this is definitely not the book to start with, but if you’re already a fan, you may be interested in the different style of this novel.