This is a review of Jean M. Auel’s novel “The Clan of the Cave Bear”, it is the first novel in the Earth’s Children Series.
As a student of Archaeology, I loved this book. I know that this novel is considered to be a cult classic, but before this year, I’d never read them or even heard of them!
This book is set in Prehistoric times. Ayla is a Cro-Magnon human. As a small child, a devastating earthquake leaves her without parents and family. She wanders aimlessly, narrowly escaping being eaten by a cave lion. She is found by a group of Neanderthals and taken in by their kind-hearted medicine woman Iza.
Ayla is somewhat shunned because she is different. Her mind works differently, and she prefers to communicate vocally, while the Neanderthal Clan prefer to communicate mostly in silence, with hand signals. She finds it hard to fit in, and struggles with the submissiveness of clan life as woman.
Broud, son of the clan’s leader Brun, despises Ayla, he is cruel to her and forces her to do many things against her will. He delights in her misery. Soon she finds herself to be pregnant by Broud. She bears her son Durc with a lot of difficulty. Ayla finds herself intrigued with the world of the clan man. She teaches herself to hunt.
She learns to hunt efficiently with a sling and stones, and does so in secret. Soon her secret is uncovered and she finds herself in a huge amount of trouble, banished with her son, she is only allowed back into the clan of she can survive for an amount of time on her own.
An intriguing and touching, thought-provoking book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.