Bloomington High School North Library

Bloomington High School North

The clan of the cave bear

Review by Isaiah Farmer on February 17, 2016

Categories: Fiction, Realistic Fiction

This novel captures the glorious struggle of prehistoric survival from the point of view of a girl growing up amidst a clan of Neanderthals. The novel opens with a five year old girl being torn apart from her family after their camp is swallowed by an earthquake. The child is our adoring, magnificent, and tough little Ayla. She’s given resiliency and a large amount of intelligence even in her first days of being introduced to the reader. She’s going to make for a prominent female main character. Jean M. Auel does an exceptional job of capturing a realistic, yet intriguing, and even mind-blowing prehistoric tale told from the eyes and mind of a girl and woman.
The main character, Ayla, is taken in by a clan of Neanderthals and raised as one of their own. She is adopted by the clan’ medicine woman, Iza, and her brother and also clan “mog-ur,” Creb. Through these unlikely circumstances, Ayla still thrives and proves to have a determination beyond anything ever seen. She’s put at a disadvantage because she is different from the clan members, she descendent from homo-sapiens, and they are Neanderthals, so not only do they look distinctively different, but they also have a very different form of communication. Ayla is out casted and she struggles to keep her head held high, but the reader can trust Ayla as they fall in love with her because she continues to show incredible resiliency along with her uncanny ability to stun the reader every time she turns a corner.
Jean M. Auel creates this intriguing, new character for her readers and that character drives the entire plot of this book, and the rest of the books in this series. Auel gives the reader an experience unlike anything else, she tells a prehistoric tale with details down to the minor details of the terrain and how these prehistoric people lived. Packed with adventure, romance, catastrophe, and a realistic representation of a time foreign the humans of today, Auel offers a reading experience unlike many else.