As I write this, officially I am still in Cornwall, as I have yet to add today's mileage to my total. However, I'm confident I will have crossed over the border by this evening. Consequently, I have now moved onto my Devon books. As the audiobook of Lorna Doone is almost 30 hours long and there is no way it's going to take me that long to trek through Devon (at least not the walking I do with the book on!) I've ordered a copy of the book to read alongside it. Although the book is another one that has been on my list of 'should read' books for some time, I don't really know much about the story except that it's billed as 'Romeo and Juliet with a happy ending.'
One of the things that many of the Goodreads reviews identified however, was that the dialect used in the dialogue made it almost incomprehensible in places. I wasn't too concerned though - having lived in Devon for four years as a student and visiting my sister for many holidays over the years, I didn't anticipate that it would be too much of an issue for me. Oh, how wrong I was! The narrator is not a name I know and he has an annoying habit of trailing the end of sentences into very quiet nothingness, which means I often lose the last few words. When dialect is added onto this, it makes it nigh on impossible to follow the story thoroughly. It is also SO SO SO SO slow! I am four chapters in and so far I know about John Ridd's schooling, the death of his father and his mother's appeal to the Doones. And that's it. In four chapters, that's all that's happened.
I'm sure that more will happen and the pace will pick up as I go through the book, but there is something that is both frustrating and reassuring about the current speed. It reminds me very much of my time in Devon, where the pace of life is so much slower than anything I've ever been used to. Everywhere else I've lived, if you ring a tradesman and say, 'My X is broken. Pleas could you come and have a look at it?' the usual response time is 1-2 days if it can't be looked at that day. Not so in Exeter. Our washing machine broke, we rang a local plumber who informed us that he 'might' be able to come and look at it in a week or so and even this timeframe wasn't definite!
To alleviate my frustrations with John, Lorna and the rest of the Doones, I'm reading another book alongside it. I've blogged before about my friend Jenny Kane's books and I've just started the second of her Mill Grange series, which is set on the Devon/Somerset border, so will fit nicely into my walk across my second county.