When this book was released in 1981, it seemed like everyone I knew read it – except me. Even as the years went by and I found myself loving historical fiction, I still didn’t bother to pick it up. Somehow, I couldn’t imagine a story of cave-dwellers would interest me. Luckily, I succumbed to reading The Clan of the Cave Bear this month when a book challenge required the word “cave” in the title. I figured so many rave reviews couldn’t be wrong. And they weren’t.
Approximately 25,000 years ago, the ancestors of our own human race lived at the same time as the Neanderthal race, which eventually became extinct. Author Jean Auel ponders the mingling of the two races in this text. After an earthquake kills off all the member of her clan, young Ayla is left to fend for herself. After a narrow escape with a mountain lion, she stumbles upon a clan of Neanderthals and is eventually adopted into the clan. Auel manages to create a timeless human story. Fitting in, growing up, love and loss are themes the author weaves throughout this excellent novel. I’m so glad I finally read this one!
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 1981
Amazon Book Preview of The Clan Of The Cave Bear