*There are no spoilers in this post.*
Our old friend Plantagenate Palliser, or Planty Pal, is now the Duke of Omnium and Prime Minister of England. We were first introduced back in the Barsetshire series, but he plays a starring role here. An honorable, principled man, I've yet to truly warm up to him and, at this point, I'm expecting I never will. Other friends are here, too, including the Duke's wife, Glencora, and Phineas Finn and his second wife, the former Madame Max.
Ferdinand Lopez is, by far, the most intriguing new character in this novel... so loathsome and easy to despise. Trollope has outdone himself with this villain!
Trollope treats us to two parallel stories in The Prime Minister - one mostly political, the other more about life and love. The political story centers, of course, on the new Prime Minister and his coalition government, though it does has some touching moments as Trollope explores the deep understanding and respect between Plantagenet Palliser and his wife Glencora.
The other story features the not-to-be trusted newcomer, Ferdinand Lopez, and well-off Wharton and Fletcher families. Love and tragedy figure into this part of the story, as Lopez woos Emily Wharton. Against the wishes of both families, she chooses Lopez over Arthur Fletcher, setting the stage for much misery and suffering. The are brief intersections in the two stories.
Once again, Trollope has masterfully created real characters and real relationships. His novels deal with a variety of issues, many still relevant today.
The Prime Minister advances the story of the Palliser family and I enjoyed it immensely. It is not, however, a novel to read if you are unfamiliar with the previous books in this series. I hope to read the final book, The Duke's Children, before the end of the year.
As always, thank you, Audrey, for reading with me. I hope we come up with a new project for 2019...