Jean M. Auel and Earth’s Children

I first became interested in Jean M. Auel’s writing at a young age. My mother and many of her friends had been fans of the first and second book of the Earth’s Children Series for some time and were passing around the third book like it was water after a long trek through the desert. I was permitted to read the series myself when I was about 15, and was just as fascinated by Ayla, a young woman raised by Neanderthals after loosing her Cro-Magnon parents, as the women around me were.

What I enjoyed most while following the trials of Ayla and her fellow travelers of prehistoric Europe was Jean’s amazing ability to bring each moment of the story to life. The descriptions of the plains, the animals, the plants and the day to day job of not only surviving but thriving in an untamed world made reading a true adventure. You could smell the meat of downed animals slowly roasting on a spit, and you could hear the calls of birds and a horse’s whiney as you rode slowly on the first domesticated equine known to man, or woman.

Jean M. Auel brought her real life experiences of learning how people survived 25,000 years ago to the pages of her books. She researched by doing more than reading and learning all she could through books and papers. She went into the wilderness and was shown, then learned herself how to do many of the tasks such as making fire and tanning leather herself which is part of the reason why reading one of her novels doesn’t just take you through the life, but absolutely takes you there, walking alongside across glaciers and crossing rushing rivers.

I will miss looking forward to a next book in the series. After The Land of Painted Caves was published recently the series became complete. It was sort of a part of my life for the last 20 years, looking forward to word on her next book. And although quite a bit of time passed between publications the story never lost momentum. Each novel was a story on its own, and introduced us to new and lively characters. I’m going to miss that. : Jean M. Auel

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