I have been trying to read this book for a few weeks now. From what I have read abou R. D. Blackmore is that this is his most famous novel. Not only that, it has inspired ten movies and miniseries. The book was published in 1869.
The difficulty in reading the book is the text itself. Blackmore is an English, Victorian writer. This means flowery language to describe mundane things. It means the characters give each other long looks and meaningful glances. It means the simple touch of hands can make someone fall in love with you. Even more difficult about the text, is Blackmore's use of old English words. I had to take the time to look things up in an Oxford dictionary to get a better grasp of what he was talking about.
Despite that, I can see that the story itself is interesting and of value. In many ways it is a version of Romeo & Juliet. It has action, adventure, and romance. Will the two lovebirds end up together or will the evil Doone gang end up killing everyone?
I am half-way through the story and I am now done. The difficulty of the language slows the reading way down. I am just tired of it. I will wait for the movie to come back around in the library video circuit. What can I say? Good luck to any who may attempt it. Otherwise, read the synopsis at Wikipedia.