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Interesting,
Dramatic,
Adventurous

4 reviews

The Clan of the Cave Bear
by Jean M. Auel

Published: 2002-06-25
Paperback : 512 pages
3 members reading this now
6 clubs reading this now
8 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 4 of 4 members
This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love. Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age ...
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Introduction

This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love. Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear.

A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly--she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.

Editorial Review

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

Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Discuss what daily rituals each book club memeber has.
by Kathy E. (see profile) 12/11/09

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Raw foods
by Kathy E. (see profile) 12/11/09
My book group went to Zupas and enjoyed a selection of fabulous soups, salads and sandwiches.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Clan of the Cave Bear"by Mehlhaff (see profile) 03/06/11

I'm not quite finished but I can't wait to see what happens with Ayla. I sometimes get mad because the women are treated very unfairly ,but have read enough of the American Indians too know it is an accurate... (read more)

 
  "clan of the cave bear"by maril (see profile) 04/20/10

Seemed a bit contrived at times and some parts where interesting. Interesting ideas on what might have been and what might have happened. Parts seemed unbelievable at times.

 
  "The Clan Of The Cave Bear"by dnelson443 (see profile) 04/10/10

I enjoyed this book.

 
  "Good prehistoric read"by Kathy E. (see profile) 12/11/09

There is a lot of good descriptions. The story flew well and full of life. It's about this little girl (Ayla) who is left orphaned and alone during prehistoric times, then picked up and raised by Neanderthals.... (read more)

 
  "A real bore and a waste of your time."by ElizabethCornell (see profile) 08/22/08

This book bored me to tears - read it 20 years ago as it was a gift. An absolute waste of time - tried to finish it as every book should be given a real chance to set itself onfire - but wel... (read more)

 
  "While I enjoyed it, the group was very divided - you either love or hate it."by danicaart (see profile) 08/22/08

 
  "Read this many years ago . . ."by kj1948 (see profile) 04/14/08

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