R. E. Blackmore’s Lorna Doone is the best book. I’ve read this year so far. A friend of mine chose it as the next book we would read together and later discuss online. We’ve been reading a lot of 19th century novels. I’ve heard of Lorna Doone, but I never knew what it was about. Our last book, which I admit, I chose, was disappointing. I was happy to not have to choose the next book. I was quite surprised when I saw that Lorna Doone was over 700 pages.
However, this chunkster delighted me from the start. The narrator and hero, John Ridd, has an exceptional way of looking at the world, and a great wry sense of humor. I was hooked early on when John Ridd compared the noise in another character’s through to the sound of a snail moving along a window sill.
The plot packs, a lot of adventure into this romance. Young John Ridd (12) and his family have a farm in Exmore, an area dominated by the Doone family, long ago the Doone ‘s were landed gentry. They fell on hard times, and for income, they took to band a tree robbing travelers along the highways. Village people and farmers reported the thievery, and to keep them in their place. The dunes killed everyone in that village. Needless to say, other people never crossed the Doones. To make things worse, the dunes killed John’s father when he resisted their thievery.
As the only son with two sisters, a mother and a farm to look after, John takes his fathers place is the The novel’s wit and adventures delighted me. Although Lorna is stereotypical, John and his family including a ne’er-do-well brother in law were well developed adding zest to the story. I didn’t want this novel to end, which is a rarity for books with 700+ pages.
John meets a beautiful girl and is smitten. As luck or literature would have it, this girl is Lorna Doone, the one woman in the world. he should have nothing to do with. When both are grown up their paths cross again and romance, forbidden love ensues.
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