I felt like I'd been shown a new world. Or hundreds of new worlds. The librarian was rushed off her feet and couldn't stay to give me a recommendation, so I did the most logical thing that I could think of and I started with the first shelf and moved my way around. One of the first books I picked up that sounded interesting was The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel. I really loved the idea of a little girl wandering around and being adopted by Neanderthals. In fact, I just loved the idea of reading a book about Neanderthals! I'd never heard of anything like it and I was so curious about it right from the start.
I saw that there were sequels to The Clan of the Cave Bear, and I picked them up as well. They were all quite chunky books and I did love the idea of being swept away into a really epic and long series of books. Reading was all I did back then and I was never put off by such massive books.
I found a quiet corner and I started to read. And right away I fell in love with the Earth's Children series. The books are so full of detail - the flora and fauna, the ways of life, medicine and healing, hunting. I was completely captivated by Ayla's voice and the Clan! I remember devouring the first book within a day or so and tackling the rest in the series soon after. For a very long time, I so wanted to be Ayla. I thought she was brave and intelligent and creative. She went through so much and still had such life about her.
As the series goes on, Ayla is this really strong and powerful woman who rides on the back of lions and is kick-ass with a sling and other weapons. She lives alone for a long time and is so self-sufficient and capable.
It wasn't until the news of the final book in the Earth's Children series was announced that I actually remembered my massive-girl crush on Ayla! I'm very, very excited to read of what happens to Ayla in this last book, The Land of Painted Caves. The book is published today and I'm waiting with bated breath to get my hands on a copy!
To celebrate the publication of the long-awaited finale to the Earth's Children series by Jean Auel, Land of Painted Caves published 29 March, I have a whopping 10 copies of The Clan of the Cave Bear to giveaway to you now. 10 copies! I really hope that other people come to love this series as much as I did! :)
It's being sent by Holler, so I'm going to ask that this by UK only. Sorry to my international readers.
You don't have to be a follower to enter though that would always be appreciated! Just fill in the form below. Remember, only people with UK postal addresses please.
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 five is a wonderful story of survival. Ayla's personal evolution is a compelling and relevant tale.