Is it just me or do we all have a book or books that we read over and over again? When we are stuck for something to read (Which doesn’t happen often, to be fair!) or we haven’t read them for a couple of years.
For me, it has to be the Earths Children series by Jean M Auel. I read the first one, Clan of the Cave Bear around 30 years ago and was mesmerised, It was that book that made me want to write. The ultimate in escapism it is set in Pre-historic times and features a girl named Ayla, who, after an earthquake, is left an orphan. Taken in by a Neanderthal “Clan” despite being one “The Others” the distrusted antagonists of the Clan. The book follows her struggles trying to fit in and be a good daughter to Iza, the clan’s medicine woman, but her ability to talk, cry and different thought processes, lead her to break many of their taboos, ultimately ending with her banishment.
My favourite of the series is definitely book 2 The Valley of the Horses. Banished by the only family she has ever known Ayla sets out to find her own kind. unable to do so she settles in a valley where she learns to survive the harsh environment. She adopts a young horse and a wounded cave lion cub who become the closest things to family she has. Meanwhile far to the west, two brothers have begun a journey which will eventually lead them to Ayla.
The detail which Auel describes this practically unknown era is nothing short of amazing, which is why I have probably read it around 10 times, it just never gets old and is probably my favourite book of all time. What book/books do you turn to when you’re snuggled up on a duvet day or just fancy a bit of something familiar?