I first read this book over twenty years ago and was instantly hooked! I remember waiting 10 years for the Plains of Passage to be published and being afraid it never would! I bought it the moment it was published, as I did for the Shelters of Stone and I am very excited to have just pre-ordered book 6 - the final book in the series. I've lost count of the number of times I've re-read the series and the number of copies I've had to re-purchase as the old ones fell apart. I've read hundreds and hundreds of books - I'm a real book worm but have always loved this series and always will. It made a big impression on me which has stayed throughout my life and this particular book was one of the few that really got me into reading books, a habit I've kept all my life since and which I believe has helped me become the literary person I am today and even helped me gain the 1st class marks for my essays at uni.
This book is about a young girl raised in the stone age by one of our closest relatives - the Neanderthals (called Clan in the book). Jean has always incorporated as much factual research and current theories of our evolution into her books and despite changes in some of these theories over the years (such as the previous popular belief that neanderthals didn't have the physical apparatus necessary for advanced verbal language), these books are no less educational now. She goes into great detail in describing the flaura and fauna of the glacial European environment and the effects the glaciers had on the lives of the peoples, animals and plants living there at that time that the characters, their environment and their lives are portrayed in amazingly vivid detail. Before reading these books, I never fully comprehended the amazing amount of uses that plants and animals, and their parts, could be put to! I know some people I've lent the books to have struggled to get gripped by the story due to the vast amount of descriptive narrative on the environemnt and the plants and animals in it, but I've alwasy found that fascinating. Now of course, I've read the books so many times that I tend to skip those parts and go straight to the next bit of the story.
These books are well worth reading and I'd recommend them to anyone with an adult reading level and maturity - don't let children or younger teenagers read these books though - there's a graphic rape scene in book 1 (The Clan of the Cave Bear), and very graphic sexual scenes throughout books 2 (The Valley of Horse), 3 (The Mammoth Hunters) & 4 (The Plains of Passage). less so in book 5 (the Shelters of Stone) but still there.
In summary, I'd definately recommend these books to all adult readers and urge you to read them. They're gripping, interesting, educational and ones you'll definately re-read many times if you give them a chance! Well done jean - your books helped to make me the person I am today and have given me so much pleasure throughout my life that I've even decided to name my daughter Ayla, after the main character of the books.The Valley of Horses (Earth's Children)The Mammoth Hunters: Earth's Children 3The Plains of Passage: Earth's Children 4The Shelters of Stone: Earth's Children 5Book 6 - Earth's Children