The gripping saga of a 5 year old orphan Cro-Magnon girl begins when little Ayla's world comes crashing down with the loss of her family during a violent earthquake. Lost, desperate, and dying of thirst and hunger, Ayla is rescued by a clan of Neanderthals who take her in to raise as their own despite her physical differences. She grows up with the love of Iza as her adoptive mother, but is still considered an outsider by many of the Clan. Struggling to find herself and her place in this cold, Ice-Age setting world, Ayla's story grips your heart within the first few pages and doesn't ever let go...even after you have finished reading the book. It is easy to fall in love with this book and be pulled into Ayla's trials and sufferings, her joys and triumphs, as she discovers the strength that lies within herself and the sheer desire to prevail against all odds.
Made all the more believable by the author's dedication in years of studying the Ice Age, the people of that time, and the artifacts found hundreds of years later, this fictional tale immediately becomes very real for the reader, pulling you into a thrilling and satisfying ride that takes you back to the dawn of mankind, yet exquisitely relates to our lives today. Definitely a must read!
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.