This is a review of “The Mammoth Hunters” by Jean M. Auel. It is the 3rd book in The Earth’s Children Series. It follows on from “The Valley of Horses“.
Ayla and Jondalar set out to find other people. They head in the direction of the Mamutoi people. This is where Jondalar was headed with his brother Thonalan before Thonalan’s demise. When they reach them, they find a warm, friendly and forthright group of people. They welcome Ayla and Jondalar into their home and teach them many things.
Ayla is even adopted by the Mamutoi, having no people to call her own. However, Jondalar is not the only male to have noticed Ayla’s beauty. Ranec, with his skin dark as coal, has fallen for Ayla and wishes to make her his own. Ayla, not fully understanding the customs of these new people goes with him one night after he requests her presence in his bed. Jondalar is very hurt by this, and stops speaking to her.
Ayla, at a loss as to what she has done wrong, is hurt by Jondalar’s avoidance of her. In her old group, (of Neanderthals) if a man requested you be his bed mate, you had to comply with his wishes. The two become more and more estranged and more and more miserable.
Can they sort out what’s wrong between them before it is too late?
A good book, although at times I wanted to slap the both of them!