The Clan of the Cave Bear
Book 1 of the Earth's Children® Series
— New York Times Book Review
"Jean Auel has performed a minor miracle."
— San Francisco Chronicle
In this first book of the beloved Earth's Children® series, Jean M. Auel takes readers back to the dawn of mankind and sweeps them up into the amazing and wonderful world of Ayla, one of the most remarkable heroines ever imagined.
Over 30,000 years ago, in a world we know but would not recognize, a young girl of five plays by herself on a creek bank. Suddenly, her world shifts, as a cataclysmic earthquake leaves her an orphan in a harsh Ice Age landscape.
A way away, a group of people now called Neanderthals also finds their world changed, as the quake destroys the cave they've called home. They must journey to find a new place to live.
It is during this odyssey that the Clan of the Cave Bear first encounters the lost child of “The Others” named Ayla. She is starving and half-dead from a wound on her thigh made by a cave lion defending her cubs. A medicine woman from the Clan, named Iza, receives permission to try to heal her. Despite her advanced pregnancy and the large load she is already carrying, Iza will not leave the child to the elements. Iza carries her along with the Clan, determined to heal her, and survive this trial. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur (magician), grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza's way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.
Thus begins the epic tale of Ayla–blonde, blue-eyed, straight-legged, and vocal--considered bizarre and unattractive by her adoptive Clan. In Ayla's story readers find what very well may be the story of human survival, for it is by wit, instinct, adaptation, and gathering knowledge that Ayla thrives among a people who are not like her, in a society that sees her as strange, in a world where elements, animals, and the enmity of others make surviving each day a challenge.