The Clan of the Cave Bear

By Jean M. Auel,

Book cover of The Clan of the Cave Bear: Earth's Children, Book One

Book description

This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love.

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked The Clan of the Cave Bear as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

“Archeology” is the study of human prehistory through the excavation and analysis of artifacts and other physical remains. Author Jean M. Auel humanized what archeologists coldly classified as the human sub-species Homo Neanderthalensis, and changed literature forever. In her 1980 breakout novel The Clan of the Cave Bear she breathed life into bits of bone, stone chips, and cave art and, in the doing, made Neanderthals real to millions of readers. Jean M. Auel gave Neanderthals real hopes, fears, love and inner darkness. Through the eyes of a Cro-Magnon girl named Ayla, Auel saw Neanderthals not as primitive brutes,…

Although an older book, this is a well-written book (and series) that takes you through a prehistoric journey that really challenges you because there are no modern amenities to really aid our hero through her journey. Aside from that, she is challenged from a tender age already and has to fight to survive horrid circumstances starting when she is five years old. She is at a disadvantage against the people who adopt her, and later brutalize her. But there’s a strong resonance of independence and fighting spirit that the reader can connect with. 

From Toni's list on fantastic fantasy to get lost in.

This is not overtly ‘spiritual’, but was my favorite adventure series as a teenager - set in pre-historic times - and remains embedded in my heart because the main character, Ayla, had such a beautiful balance of qualities that I hadn’t read in in other female-led novels, and made me feel so empowered over my transition into womanhood.

She is fiercely brave, independent, smart, and courageous, but at the same time can be vulnerable, gentle, loving, and let the man of her heart take care of her, while maintaining fully embodied in her personal power. Sensitive or not, Ayla is…

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