Classic Lit: Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore

4.0 out of 5 stars John’s coming of age

As a very young child, John Ridd encounters the equally young Lorna while fishing in Doone territory. The Doones, born noble, were deprived of their birthright, and now live in a fortress above the Somerset moors, sometimes emerging to pillage the countryside for food, money, and comely women. It’s love at first sight for John, who, in spite of the fact that the Doones murdered his own father, falls hard for the enchanting Lorna. Blackmore’s romance/adventure takes the couple through trials and tribulations, and the lowborn John sadly doubts that he can ever be worthy of Lorna. Little does he know of her true origins.
Blackmore, naturally, wrote in the language of his times, a style that tends toward poetical effusion. The modern reader must summon up the patience to work through the verbosity to find the gem of a story beneath. It’s well worth the effort, and flashes of gentle satire and humor help make the journey a satisfying one.

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