[i]The Clan of the Cave Bear[/i] is the first in Jean Auels [i]Earths Children[/i] series, and its an exciting way to begin. The book is a coming-of-age story for a young girl, Ayla, living during the Ice Age who is orphaned during an Earthquake. Ayla is adopted by The Clan of the Cave Bear, although she clearly is not Clan, as she looks, acts, and communicates very differently. The story is clearly a work of fantasy, as there are obvious factual inaccuracies; however, the quality of Auels writing makes it easy to become absorbed in the story and forget reality.
Aylas tale is on of moving from childhood to adulthood, Auel masterfully weaves vivid details about the setting, while keeping the reader engaged in the plot. Each character in the novel goes through his or her own individual struggle because of Aylas difference, yet because of the Auels writing style, it is easy for the reader to understand why each character is faced with difficult choices, rather than automatically siding with the main character. There is also depth to the descriptions that Auel uses, which makes it easy to understand the love between Ayla and her adopted parentsCreb and Izathe intensity of Brouds hatred toward Ayla, and the heart wrenching pain that is inflicted upon her.
Overall, the book is a fairly easy, but very captivating read.
I read a lot of books and this was one of my favorites. The story stays with you for many years. It is rich in detail of how the earth was after the ice age. The rest of the books have great discriptions also. All in all, it's a great series of one woman's struggles and journey to find her people.
This book is so good I could not put it down, had to read it nonstop in a weekend-just to see what happens in the clan next! This writer is like you are really there living in this clan with these people. Now I know after resting my eyes and getting a few chores done-that in the next 2 days I will be drawn to the 2nd book in the series. Written in a seriously compelling way and the rich descriptive narrative ,the most enjoyable reading. Wow!!!!
This is one of the most interesting and wonderful books a person could read. It tells the story of Ayla, who is a very strong character, who seems to be able to conquer all obstacles that come her way. Ayla is a Cro-magnon girl who is adopted into a group of Neanderthals. Ayla also has many skills which help her in her life and adventures. She is truly an inspiring character. I read this book a long time ago, but it has remained my favorite book of all time. The author makes you feel as if you are there with Ayla and she describes the landscape and time period beautifully. You will not be sorry if you decide to read this book. There are also four books that follow this book and they are, The Valley of Horses, The Mammoth Hunters, The Plains of Passage and The Shelters of Stone. Happy Reading.
This has been on TBR for over ten years as a book I felt I "should" read sooner or later. A recent PBS conversation convinced me to finally pick it up and I'm SO GLAD I did!! I loved it! I don't know what I expected. Probably a slow nearly-documentary of cave people shuffling thru the forest, stalking saber tooth tigers or some such thing. It was not anything of the sort. I was caught up almost immediately by the rich characters and intricate relationships. 5 stars!
Fantastic!!! The start of one of my favorite all-time trilogies. Great storytelling by a master of the written word. Wonderful characters, exciting storyline and non-stop adventure. Hightly recommended.
I have read hundreds and hundreds of books over the years, yet I have not found a single heroine that I love and identify with more than Ayla. She is breathtakingly beautiful (though she doesn't know it), courageous, smart, and a woman way ahead of her time. I love that she tries to fit in with the clan, but constantly questions the rules and beliefs of the society that surround her. The accuracy and detail of the landscape and spiritual beliefs, bring this story to life. The reader feels as if they are immersed in a prehistoric world and a participant in the story, instead of a bystander. The Earth Children's series gets marks that are off the chart! Jean M. Auel is in a class entirely to herself. I have read this series probably 5 or 6 times over the years and each time I pick it up, its like reading it for the first time.
For those of you that watched the movie... it does not do this book justice.
As I said I really didn't expect to like this book, blame it on my Mother because she raved about it when it came out, and I was still a brat then and didn't want to like anything that she did. But doing the math I realized that she was the same age when it was released as I am now.
As for the book, Auel's research is evident in every pen stroke, It is a credible telling of a time period for which we only have fossils, cave paintings and the odd bog find. When understanding nature could only be dealt with with superstition. As a Cromagnon Ayla's story was compelling, and at time heart wrenching.
Orphaned by and earthquake at five she is left alone in the wilderness and wanders for days slowing dying of starvation and exposure, when attacked by a cave lion she is finally near death when the Neanderthal Clan finds her. Saved by the clan's Medicine Woman and the clan's Shaman, Alya is reluctantly taken into the clan. The story follows as she struggled with her oh so obvious differences, and against Broud's (the chief's son and heir apparent) unrelenting hatred of her. Is Alya lucky for the clan? It seems so, she finds a bitchin cave for them in which to live.
Against all tradition she learns to hunt, a task that is strictly forbidden to females, and excels in everything she tries. In saving the life of Broud and his mate's child it is discovered that she has mastered the sling and that she has indeed been hunting. Alya is cast out only if she survives for a month can she return. Of course she does return which makes Broud more determined to crush her. He hates her so much that as they grow into adulthood the only way he can dominate her is to force her to submit to him sexually. This is where I was thinking Auel fell flat. In her world these people had some convoluted idea of how babies are made. You can't tell me that even Neanderthals didn't see beasts mating and make the connection. Anyway, Alya has Broud's child a connection no one make's but her. As her protectors age and die it become inevitable that she must leave and find her own people. I will give it 4 out of 5 stars.
MSCOZY reviewed The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, Bk 1) on
The best book in the whole series. Reading about Ayla and how she copes with being abandoned is a wonderful story. The parts discussing the making and usage of tools as well as the art of crafts delighted and enlightened me. I wish the others had been along the same vein, story plus insights into the culture and rituals of the tribes.
This is the first book of several about how human beings may have been in the beginning. It centers on the life of a girl, but also covers as much as possible on the different groups of people of that time.
The first book in the Earth's Children series. This series is well researched. It will open your eyes to the condition of cavemen and let you know that they were not near animals, but fulling functioning human beings.
More than that, this is a great saga. It follows a little girl from the time she lost her tribe, thru growing up with a strange clan to being reunited with her kind. This first book chronicles her years from about five to fourteen or so. It is very good reading.
One of my all-time favorites! The first in the series that I reread almost every year. I love the ambiance of the book, historical aspects, learning about herbs and how they may have mastered new tools. And of course, Ayla, the heroine is heart warming, a character you can't help but root for.
The first book is a bit tough to read with the things she had to endure but still a wonderful story to set up the far more enjoyable stories to follow. Highly recommend!
My 5th grade teacher recommended this and The Valley of Horses to our entire class in 1985. I borrowed them from my mom; I was the only one in class to attempt them after seeing how long they are. I have read the entire series every few years since then. This book is the best of the Earth's Children series so far.
Molly W. reviewed The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, Bk 1) on
I didn't read this book when it first came out, although I did hear about it. Now that I have read it, I can't get enough of the series of books and reading about the time period itself. It is very fascinating to think about early modern humans, Cro Magnons, living close to the Neaderthals. You can tell that the author really did a lot of research. So much is unknown, that much needed to be made up to tell a story like this. What truly makes me love these books are the characters. They seem so real, and they are so interesting. It makes me want to go back to this time and find Ayla, surely, she must have been a real person.... in my mind, she will always be there.
Mostly for people who like a longer story, with lots of adventure. People who are interested in thinking about history, or differences in people.... where we came from and who we are. It is a five star rating for me.
I came across the last book of this series about 3 months ago at a Library Book Sale & read it before I realized there were 5 Books preceding it! But it was so incredible, so interesting, & so unlike any other book I've read, I was compelled to start at the beginning.
Book 1- The Clan of the Cave Bear is amazing! The author, Mrs. Auel, must have spent years researching because the intense detail is so diverse & covers so many different aspects of the Ice Age- from the people to the many now extinct species of animals. Mrs. Auel's description of the plants, trees, flowers, vegetables, rocks & minerals, etc. are so incredibly vivid, I could actually picture everything from the eyes of Ayla. Reading about the experiences she was able to survive through, & often thrive through, during her life depicts Ayla as a courageous, strong-willed heroine.
At about the half way point, I realized I HAD to continue on with the series and immediately logged onto PBS to request the others. I can't wait to see where the story goes from here!
This is the story of a little girl who is raised by a family of beings who are apparently a step or two behind on the evolutionary chain. It details her relationship with them and with her eventual journey to find other humans.
If you love epic hostory books as I do, you will love this book. Jean Auel, is an excellent author who makes you fall in love with her charcters and get wrapped up in the story. A real page turner. Note: My copy has a different cover than the one shown.
The first in a series; very well told story. The author did extensive research on all of the appropriate topics to create a window into "then and there." The purist or scholar may notice just a few anachronistic details, but Auel acknowledges in her preface that she included some of those for the sake of the story line. Overall, this book plus its sequels provide a general understanding of the time and the region. It is easy to expect that some readers, starting with this, have gone on to explore prehistorical anthropology, geography, toolmaking, and much more. A long book, and a good read.
Excellent book, perhaps the best book I've ever read. I so wanted the second book to be as good, but it wasn't, in my opinion. The first one was fabulous though, full of detail and descriptions, social relationships, and the power of love and hatred.
There are possibly spoilers in this review, but not so much to ruin the book for anyone, at least I don't think so.
First, Ayla was an incredible character. She was born of the Others, but found and raised by the Clan. I can almost understand her plight a bit, as a black girl who grew up in predominately white neighborhoods and schools, I know what it was like to be the odd man out. To have people stare at you because you look different, to be treated as though you didn't belong. But there was always a person(s) who looked at you for who you were. Ayla found that in Iza, Creb, Uba, and many others. Iza loved her more than her biological daughter and Creb loved her as if she was his daughter as well. Uba loved her like a sister.
She proved that though she looked and even had different feelings and emotions, she could love and learn and work just like everyone else in the Clan. In a lot of ways she was better than the Clan. She didn't have their inherited memories, but she could learn and comprehend things that they couldn't. Creb knew it and it frightened him. I think he knew all along that the coming of the Others would mean the end of the Clan.
I didn't expect the amount abuse that she endured. Having watched the movie, can I just say it was a sad, sad representation of this book! She endured hate and ostracism and just flat out physical and emotional abuse--particularly from Broud, who was also not like the typical clan. He hated Ayla because she was not of the Clan; she looked and behaved differently. She was stronger and braver, and smarter than him and he envied her that. But that is not the way of the clan. He had violent tendencies and exhibited jealousy and yearned for revenge. Broud was very egotistical and cared more about his estimation of himself than he did the well-being of the Clan. These were definitely not traits of the Clan, so for as much as he despised Ayla for her differences, he was equally as different.
The Clan had very short life spans, they became men and hunters, women and mothers very, very young. Boys were hunters at 12 and some women were mothers at 10. They became physically old and died young as well. If a member of the Clan made it to their 30's it was ancient! For some people the ages at which certain events took place could be considered shocking, but to me it makes sense. They were cavemen. They lived hard, short lives; their brains and bodies were not developed the way people are today. They were short and bowlegged and barely stood upright. They were very stout with thick bones and protruding brows. Their brains were made for instinct and the memories they inherited at birth; they couldn't really learn new things, or think in new and critical ways. Ayla was thin and tall with straight legs and a 'flat' brow. She didn't develop into the Clan's expectation of womanhood until much later, and I expect she (and the Others) have a longer lifespan. She didn't have the same memories and instincts, but she could think for herself, and question things. Creb knew she was bright, but didn't think she was as smart as him. I think she was smarter. She just didn't have his life experiences to draw from.
I loved that Ayla was strong despite what Broud did to her over the years. For every rotten, hateful, and abusive thing he did to her, she came out of it a little stronger and braver than before. This, of course, only made Broud hate her even more. It was no surprise what he did to her when he finally became leader. I cannot believe that Brun was so blinded by his love for his son that he could not see that there was no changing Broud. More than that, I HATE that the bastard got to curse her in the end. I really wish she would have left with Durc before he became leader. I know Durc had a mate waiting for him when they came of age, but but with Ayla gone, he's at Broud's mercy. Iza, Creb and Ayla are gone, the cave is destroyed...what will happen to Durc, to the Clan? Will they have to move again? Will Ayla find the others? Will she return for Durc? Will Broud cause his Clan to fall apart because of his selfish tendencies? That's a definite yes if you ask me. But the only way to learn these things is to read the next in the series. I am so glad I finally took the time to read this book.
**I'm offering all 5 books in the series for 2 credits**
This story is set way back to the dawn of modern humans.
A young girl named Ayla's journey begins here when, after an earth quake and a lion attack she is found near death by the clan of the cave bear. Her life is a challenge since she is of the Others and not clan but this girl has a power all her own. She must learn clan ways and survive the abuse of a jellous young man who will one day be leader.
This is the first book in the Earth's Children Series.
This book was amazing! Who knew cave dwellers could be so riveting? I liked the lack of "realistic" (but also cynical) tragedy. Ayla perseveres, and is ultimately irrepressible. The other characters in this book will have to caring about them before the book ends, and the story itself will leave yu hungry for more. There are a few, wildly unrealistic items though, so I choose to give it a 4.5 instead of a full five, but overall, I feel blessed to have had my old History teacher recommend it to me so strongly, that even now, years later, I remembered and sought it out.
Re-reading this finally, after almost 35 years. I had forgotten how good it is. Vivid storytelling, excellent setting of the places, great descriptions of the way life might have been for a Neanderthal tribe. The research shines through without getting in the way of the story. The minor characters tend to blur together, but the main ones are memorable.
"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." "Imaginative, exciting."
--The New York Times Book Review
"Jean Auel has performed a minor miracle."
--San Francisco Chronicle
#1 National Bestseller. A stunning epic that stirred the imagination of millions.
"Here is a novel of awesome beauty and power. A moving saga about people, relationships and the boundaries of love. Through Jean Auel's magnificent storytelling, we are taken back to the dawn of mankind and swept up in the wonderful world of a very special heroine, Ayla. Her enthralling story is one we all can share. A natural disaster has left young Ayla alone, wandering, fending for herself in an unfamiliar land. One day, she is discovered by the Clan of the Cave Bear, men and women far different from her own people. The tall blond, blue-eyed Ayla is a mysterious stranger to the Clan and at first they mistrust her and cast her out. But as she grows to know them and to learn the ways of the Clan, she is welcomed. And as she leads them in their struggle for survival, the Clan comes to worship Ayla. For in her blood flows the future of humanity."
The first book in Jean M. Auels series of the Earth Children, Ayla a child of about 5 is found by the Clan people (cave dellers) and raised as there own. She was beautiful and blonde and they looked like cave people of old. I don't want to write more it would ruin the story, sorry.
Jessica H. reviewed The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, Bk 1) on
Theres to much discriptive sex in it. i read the 1st book when i was 10 and loved it. I wont ever read it again because of that reason though. Im a firm believe that if you wouldnt let you children read it, than you shouldnt eather.