The Clan of the Cave Bear

by Jean M. Auel
New York: Bantam Books, 1984. 528 pages.

First in the Earth's Children series of novels (also containing The Valley of Horses, The Mammoth Hunters, The Plains of Passage, and The Shelters of Stone), The Clan of the Cave Bear tells the story of Ayla, a Cro-Magnon orphan found and raised by a clan of Neanderthals about 35 000 years ago. The Clan of the Cave Bear was a finalist for the National Book Award for First Novel, and the reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle raved, "Jean Auel has performed a minor miracle."