If you love Jane Austen, read Framley Parsonage. Its principal heroine, Lucy Robarts, is as witty, winning, and utterly lovable as Elizabeth Bennett, and on a scale of one to Mr. Darcy, the male romantic lead, Lord Lufton, rates at least a solid nine.
Set in Trollope's West Barsetshire, this fourth book in the Barsetshire Chronicles is my personal favorite. Readers watch the rise and fall (and rise again) of Framley's young parson, Mark Robarts, and rejoice in the constancy of his beloved wife and best champion, Fanny. We laugh at the vapid--though breathtakingly beautiful--Griselda Grantly, the belle of her first London season. And we come to sympathize with and eventually love the gently tyrannical patroness of Framley and mother of the most eligible bachelor in Barset, Lady Lufton.
Readers also enjoy revisiting old friends from The Warden and Barchester Towers as Mark Robarts mingles with old clerical friends before stepping into the ensnaring and worldly company of the powers-that-be in Barsetshire's political arena. There's even something for Doctor Thorne fans, like myself, who wonder about the destiny of the Doctor's heart and Miss Dunstable's vast fortune.
Accoutered with the wit and courage of Lucy Robarts--hailed even by the Calvinistic-ally and self-sacrificing Hogglestock clergyman, Josiah Crawly, as an angel of mercy and the epitome of womanly goodness--Framley Parsonage is a must-read for any who love drama, heroism, and happy endings.