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The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel Review

Title: The Clan of the Cave Bear

Author: Jean M. Auel

First published January 1, 1980

512 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780553381672 (ISBN10: 0553381679)

Rating: 4.08


The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel is a captivating tale of survival, love, and acceptance set in the early days of human existence.

Follow the journey of a young girl named Ayla, who is forced to navigate the harsh and unforgiving Ice Age world alone after a devastating natural disaster. When she is taken in by the Clan, a group of people drastically different from her own, she must learn to adapt to their ways and gain their acceptance.

Despite facing constant opposition from the future leader of the Clan, Ayla perseveres and proves her worth. Auel’s masterful storytelling will transport you back in time as you root for Ayla and her quest to find her place in a world full of danger and uncertainty.

About the Author

Jean M. Auel is an accomplished American author who is most recognized for her series of historical fiction novels called Earth’s Children.

These books are set in prehistoric Europe and explore the relationships between Cro-Magnon people and Neanderthals. To date, her novels have been translated into numerous languages and have sold over 45 million copies worldwide.

Auel attended the University of Portland and went on to earn an MBA in 1976. She has since been honored with degrees from several institutions, including her alma mater, the University of Maine, and the Mount Vernon College for Women.

Auel and her husband, Ray Bernard Auel, have five children and reside in Portland, Oregon.

Editoral Review

The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel is an epic work of historical fiction that was first published on January 1, 1980.

Auel is an American author who is renowned for her impressive storytelling skills and impeccable research. Her work is classified as historical fiction, and she is specifically known for taking her readers on a journey into the prehistoric past.

The Clan of the Cave Bear is the first book in a six-part series titled “Earth’s Children.” It tells the story of a young girl named Ayla, who is orphaned after an earthquake kills her family. Ayla is taken in by a group of Neanderthals called the Clan, who teach her their ways of survival.

However, her sharp intellect and curiosity set her apart from the other Clan members, leading to conflict. The setting is prehistoric Europe, and Auel masterfully presents an accurate and detailed description of the landscape during this era.

Characters are portrayed with nuance and depth, even the non-human ones. Through Ayla’s eyes, readers are introduced to the cultural practices and social dynamics of the Clan.

It’s fascinating to see how they survived and how their beliefs shaped their way of life. Auel’s portrayal of Ayla’s character is a highlight of the book.

She’s a strong-willed and independent protagonist who finds herself in a society that views women as inferior. Ayla’s struggle to adapt to her situation while staying true to herself is a compelling story.

She’s both relatable and admirable, making her an easy character to root for. However, the pacing of the book is somewhat slow, and at times, Auel gets bogged down in the details.

The book could have been trimmed down slightly and still conveyed the same story. Nonetheless, the world-building is intricate, and the attention to detail demonstrates the effort Auel put into her research.

The Clan of the Cave Bear is significant in that it explores gender roles, the concept of family, survival, and spirituality in a prehistoric era. Its relevance extends beyond its genre and has implications for modern-day society.

It’s easy to see how the book could prompt discussions of cultural diversity and tolerance. Overall, The Clan of the Cave Bear is an excellent read for lovers of historical fiction or anyone looking for an immersive and thought-provoking adventure.

I give it a solid four out of five stars. Its strengths lie in its world-building, character development, and historical accuracy.

If you’re a fan of books like Wolf Hall or Outlander, then The Clan of the Cave Bear is a must-read for you.

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