Tuesday, 2 August 2011

'Lorna Doone' by R.D. Blackmore (1869)

Synopsis: The book is set in the West Country during the 1600s. John Ridd is the son of a respectable farmer who was murdered in cold blood by one of the Doones, a once noble family that have turned into outlaws. John grows up into a respectable farmer himself but accidentally meets Lorna Doone and falls in love with her. Lorna is the granddaughter of Sir Ensor Doone (the head of the family) and is being forced into marrying her cousin Carver. Carver is determined to marry Lorna so he can come into his inheritance. Can John save Lorna from her own family and can they be together?

This book may have been written in 1869 but it's actually a historical romance set in the 1600s, with a story that's a little bit similar to Romeo and Juliet. I think I'd have enjoyed this book a little bit more if my expectations hadn't been so high. It's enjoyable and well-written but it didn't blow me away. The romance is sickly sweet and Lorna herself is a surprisingly flat and underdeveloped character. She's far too good to be true when you consider the fact that she's been brought up by the villainous Doone family! I liked the narrator John Ridd though and most of the other characters. The historical setting seemed accurate (although I'm no expert) and it's got some suspense and action. I wouldn't say that Lorna Doone is a brilliant book but it's worth a read.

Rating: 3/5

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