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The Clan of the Cave Bear: Earth's Children, Book One Paperback – June 25, 2002
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When her parents are killed by an earthquake, 5-year-old Ayla wanders through the forest completely alone. Cold, hungry, and badly injured by a cave lion, the little girl is as good as gone until she is discovered by a group who call themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear. This clan, left homeless by the same disaster, have little interest in the helpless girl who comes from the tribe they refer to as the "Others." Only their medicine woman sees in Ayla a fellow human, worthy of care. She painstakingly nurses her back to health--a decision that will forever alter the physical and emotional structure of the clan. Although this story takes place roughly 35,000 years ago, its cast of characters could easily slide into any modern tale. The members of the Neanderthal clan, ruled by traditions and taboos, find themselves challenged by this outsider, who represents the physically modern Cro-Magnons. And as Ayla begins to grow and mature, her natural tendencies emerge, putting her in the middle of a brutal and dangerous power struggle.
Although Jean Auel obviously takes certain liberties with the actions and motivations of all our ancestors, her extensive research into the Ice Age does shine through--especially in the detailed knowledge of plants and natural remedies used by the medicine woman and passed down to Ayla. Mostly, though, this first in the series of four is a wonderful story of survival. Ayla's personal evolution is a compelling and relevant tale. --Sara Nickerson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
--The New York Times Book Review
"Jean Auel has performed a minor miracle."
--San Francisco Chronicle
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have not read this series, you are in for a treat. The novels are set 18,000 year ago at a time when the Cromagnon (us) and Neanderthal people coexist. Although certain poetic license is taken with the series, the novels are thouroughly reseached and have received a great deal of praised for their accuracy.
Ayla is a five-year old Cro-Magnon girl who is suddenly orphaned and left homeless by an earthquake that destroys her family's camp. She is found, near death, by a group of Neanderthal people, the "Clan" who are looking for a new home after their cave is destroyed in the same earthquake. A brother and sister, Iza, the medicine woman of the group, and Creb, the "Mog-ur" or shaman, adopt the young girl. The first book in the series focuses on Ayla's experience growing up amoung the Clan where she never quite fits in because of the differences in her nature. She lacks the Clan's strenght and 'memories' but is quicker to learn and to adapt to new circumstances.
If this doesn't sound like your cup of tea - at least try the sample anyway. This is a truely extraordinary series that no one should miss. Fans wait patiently for years as each new book is researched and written, and then savor it as an extraordinary treat.
Other books in the series are:
The Valley of Horses ... Ayla leaves the clan to find others like herself and meets Jondular, the love of her life
The Mammoth Hunters ... Ayla's first experience with a group of her own people
The Plains of Passage ... Ayla's and Jondular's journey back to Jondular's homeland
The Shelters of Stone ... Ayla's and Jondular's experiences when they arive back at his home.
A note to parents: This book does contain a some scenes of fairly graphic violence, sex and intense loss. If your parenting style is more conservative, I would recommend reading the book yourself before letting your child read it so that you can determine if it is appropriate.