The Clan of the Cave Bear

Slowly but surely, I’m making my way through all the books I bought over the summer (let’s not talk about all the books I’ve bought since then…).

Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children series has been popular for a long time, but was one I didn’t know a whole lot about until I started it.

Clan of the Cave Bears, first in the series, starts with a young girl alone in the wilderness. When she’s found by a traveling clan in search of a new cave, the medicine woman fights to keep her.

Ayla must learn an entirely new way of life if she’s going to have a chance at staying with the clan. Even after years of living with them, Ayla finds in hard to adhere to some of the rules and regulations. But if she doesn’t fit in, she runs the risk of being cast out, and if she’s cast out, how can she survive alone?

While the book was good, I found it very slow. The cave people don’t use a spoken language, so there’s less dialogue than might be expected. A lot of the book is internal monologue and action, but I found myself feeling like the story wasn’t moving quite fast enough. It was also challenging to disengage from our modern society and not only drop into the world of the ice age, but also not cringe at the idea of young women (girls by today’s standards), being married and bearing children.

I’ll confess that I started the second book in this series, but gave up because it just seemed to be moving even slower, and I’ve got a lot of books calling my name.

While the curiosity still remains to know the rest of Ayla’s story, it’s not so overwhelming as to enable me to power through the series. I can see how it may be a sweeping saga, and it’s era is certainly unique, but, now is not the time for me to get in to it, I guess. Maybe I’ll give it another try later.

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