Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Plains of Passage by Jean M. Auel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

They said:

Ayla and Jondalar set out on horseback across the windswept grasslands of Ice Age Europe. To the hunter gatherers of their world--who have never seen tame animals--Ayla and Jondalar appear enigmatic and frightening.

The mystery surrounding the woman, who speaks with a strange accent and talks to animals with their own sounds, is heightened by her control of a large, menacing wolf. The tall, yellow-haired man who rides by her side is also held in awe, not only for the magnificent stallion he commands, but for his skill as an artificer of stone tools, and for the new weapon he devises that makes hunting less perilous.

In the course of their cross-continental odyssey, Ayla and Jondalar encounter both savage enemies and brave friends. Together they learn that the vast and unkown world can be difficult and dangerous, but breathtakingly beautiful and enlightening as well.

I thought:

I should see what others have thought about this book. Boy howdy, was I surprised by some of the comments! One comment was about her repeating things from an earlier book. Stop a moment and look at the different publishing dates. If you read the first one and then had to wait for the next one, you might appreciate the repeats so you remember what was going on from the last one. An then there are people like me who might find one copy but it is later in the series...those retells would put you right into the story without you having to go back to the first book to find out what is going on and who's who.

Sex. Yes, and people what to know about what might have happened in the past and if everyone is in the cave, everyone knows what is going on. So how did they handle the situation. How was the act different among the Clan than the Others? What we might consider rape today, might have been normal for one group. That's one of the things you are learning about as Ayla grows up and moves from one group to another. It is not gratuitous or even as graphic as some writers might have made it.

Wonder Woman and Superman? Ayla and her lover are compilations of the Others. The Clan shared a common memory and did not like change much. The Others did not have the memories so were more adaptable to change and building on one another's ideas and sharing for the good of all. She was both a shaman and a healer. I want to know what they used for medicine, did they ever do surgery, how did they deal with wounds? So all information and advancements were attached to Ayla. Many people of today are have the ability to pick up languages quickly...but there remain traces of their original accents, just like Ayla. Of course she is alway gathering things...they were 'hunter/gatherers. It was important that she find fresh food and well as food that will store well for winter and many of the foods that she ate while living with the Clan would not be available from one territory to another. She would have to find out what new things were safe to eat in the new areas. The same thing would have to be done with her herbal medicines...some she would figure out for herself but some she would find out when they visited in different camps.

Written or spoken, I really like this series!

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