So long Ayla

Posted By on Aug 28, 2013 | 6 comments

Wow. Just wow.

After beginning the first book last December, I just finished the sixth and final book in the Earth’s Children series, or as I have come to know it, The Clan of the Cave Bear series. The series is a historic novel by Jean M Auel which is based on the possible interactions between Neanderthal (“The Clan”) and modern Cro-Magnon (“The Others”) humans.

A five-year old Cro-Magnon girl is orphaned and left homeless by an earthquake that destroys her family’s camp. She wanders aimlessly for several days, naked and unable to feed or fend for herself. She is attacked and nearly killed by a cave lion. On the verge of death from starvation, exhaustion and infection from her wounds, she collapses and is found by a group of Neanderthal people whose cave was also destroyed in the earthquake and who are now searching for a new home. The Clan’s medicine woman, Iza, finds the little girl and, after asking permission from the leader, is allowed to pick her up and take her with them.

I don’t want to give any more of the story away because I don’t want to detract from your experience and character involvement.

I can’t believe that it took me so long to find and read this series. After getting to know all the characters, I feel a bit at a loss as to “where to from here” as there isn’t another book to look forward to. (The author is now 77 so I doubt that there will be another.)

If you haven’t read this series yet, do yourself a favour and find them! This is the order they were published and should be read:

1 The Clan of the Cave Bear
2 The Valley of Horses
3 The Mammoth Hunters
4 The Plains of Passage
5 The Shelters of Stone
6 The Land of Painted Caves


  1. We’ve had a chat about this series before and just reading the summary again took me right back to the longing I felt when I finished the series probably 15 years ago. I think I need to reread these again. Would you be open to lending them out to me? If not, I wonder if I can find them on Kindle…

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  2. Also, it’s a completely different genre and all, but the only other series that ever gave me such longing was George R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. Really. Character development and sagas like you cannot believe.

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  3. I read the first 5 books in the series years ago, when I had to wait patiently for the books to be published! 🙂
    I enjoyed the first three books immensely, in that I couldn’t wait to get home from work every day so I could read some more, but the rest of the books had me wondering why every single discovery that led to progress was credited to Ayla! 😛
    That said, it remains one of my favourite series.

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  4. I had friends who named their daughter Ayla, after the little girl in The Clan of the Cave Bear… Have never read the books myself but would love to. I saw the movie as a child, with Daryl Hannah as Ayla…

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  5. Thanks for the recommendation! I have just downloaded Clan of the Cave Bear on Amazon 🙂 I love epic stories and series, this is going to suit me SO well, thanks!

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