Evoking the narrative sweep of The Clan of the Cave Bear and the spiritual resonance of The Celestine Prophecy, Joan Dahr Lambert creates an extraordinary novel of prehistoric life: CIRCLES OF STONE. In this compelling adventure, the stories of three wise women - each called Zena, yet born thousands of years apart - unfold in a compassionate and moving saga that celebrates the remarkable growth of the human spirit.
CIRCLES OF STONE ranges from the African savannah more than one million years ago to the fertile shores of the Red Sea to the magnificent limestone caves of the Pyrenees mountains, where the first artists painted the fire-lit wonders of their existence. Scene after scene of breathtaking drama draws us into their lives as they negotiate a world they do not understand - in which an ostrich eggshell becomes a wondrous device for carrying water, and the earth’s upheavals reveal a lush, lifesaving oasis to a starving tribe.
The first Zena, orphaned by fierce storms that engulf the parched plains in murderous torrents, is overcome by tenderness for a lost and wounded infant whose body scent is recognized by a strange tribe, ensuring their survival. When drought withers the grasslands again, desperation drives her to an ecstatic moment of revelation that will forever transform her people.
Surviving a wildebeest stampeded that decimates her people, the second Zena rages against the Mother for her betrayal. But a woman of great gifts and insights joins Zena’s band, inspiring her to embrace the mystical vision that is her destiny. And as the tribe wanders far beyond Africa’s Great Rift Valley, she discovers a devastating secret of sexuality and childbirth that she must conceal at all costs.
Raised on the meadows that shelter beneath the Pyrenees, the third Zena is outraged when a man of her tribe violates an ancient tradition that has empowered and protected women. But it is her own terrible sin against the Mother that sends Zena fleeing into the mountains. Now, as violence spreads across the land, Zena’s visions of the future grow more fearful, until an astonishing act of love fills her with hope and the will to go on.
With striking detail, Circles of Stone reinvents the incredible world of our distant ancestors. The pungent scents and sounds, the awesome scenes that greeted primitive eyes all come alive again, and we are immersed in the beauty and danger that shaped our predecessors’ daily lives. As the human heart and soul emerge in a volatile dance of experience, language and meaning, CIRCLES OF STONE becomes an unforgettable, supremely entertaining read.