The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

Published June 26, 2012

The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

Book info

  • Title
  • Author Jean M. Auel
  • Year
  • Genres


I have mixed feelings about this book. It took me a while to get into it and to slow down to the pace of the story. Aside from the initial action - getting Ayla from her own home to the Clan via an earthquake and a lion attack - the story moves at a snail’s pace. Initially, I found it frustrating but then I realised that the writing just reflects what life would have been like back then anyway. The unfolding relationships would have occurred at a much slower pace, because cave people (presumably) only needed to get hectic when under attack.

With that in mind, I settled into the book much better and really enjoyed reading Ayla’s unfolding story. It was always a surprise when her birthday came around and how young she was became apparent - it’s almost too much for me to imagine all these things happening to such a small child. The twists and turns of the story were fascinating, and I quite enjoyed that side of it.

On the other hand, I thought there were some moments where there was far too much detail. By the third or fourth ceremony, I was frustrated with the sheer amount of description. We were guided through every moment of the ceremony procedure, with no room for imagination. Every step was detailed out, every breath, almost. The ceremonies and the hunting parties were overdone, I felt.

Overall, it was a good read - something vastly different to my normal choice of book and I’m glad it was on the list. I don’t think I will read any more of the series, though, despite the cliffhanger style ending. Boy, that was depressing.

Rating: Unrated

← Previous Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Next → Black Beauty by Anna Sewell