Rachel Ray, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


This is Trollope's most detailed and concise study of middle-class life in a small provincial community - in this case Baslehurst, in the luscious Devon countryside.

It is also a charming love-story, centring on sweet-natured Rachel Ray and her suitor Luke Rowan, whose battle to wrest control over Baslehurst's brewery involves a host of typically Trollopian local characters.

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780199537761

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Luke Rowan comes to Baslehurst to enforce his right to inherit a half-share in the brewery. He is resisted in this by the existing partner, Mr Tappitt. Through Mr Tappitt's daughters Luke meets Rachel Ray and courts her successfully. However, as his dispute with Mr Tappitt is heating up he leaves town to pursue legal remedies and Rachel's weak mother is induced by her clergyman to force Rachel to break the engagement off.I found this novel well-constructed and the brewery storyline was entertaining. I also enjoyed the Prime/Prong "romance" and Mrs Ray's vacillations. On the other hand, not a lot really happened otherwise. Luke was not sufficiently herolike for my tastes. Poor Rachel's letter to him was so clearly written to make it clear that she dissociated herself from every word, but he was unable to perceive this and left her waiting for a cruel length of time. Rachel seemed unable ever to be honest with him about her feelings, which got a bit tiresome. Also, I don't think Mrs Rowan was treated as severely as she deserved.

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