Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M Auel

Description from :
In 1980, Jean Auel began her Earth's Children series with her novel The Clan of the Cave Bear. Now, more than 30 years and 45 million copies later, she brings this six-volume Ice Age epic to a reassuring conclusion with The Land of Painted Caves. In this evocative, carefully researched fiction, Cro-Magnon shaman Ayla and her heroic mate Jondalar struggle with environmental upheavals, and threats from wild animals and hostile hunters. Transcending difficulties, this loving, loyal couple find peace and respite in unexpected places and move resolutely towards a more secure future. (P.S. There is good reason why this novel is so eagerly anticipated: The Land of Painted Cave is the first Earth's Children installment in nine years.)

I did not know that there was even going to be another book after so many years. But when I did hear the news I let my expectations rise for what I really wanted to see happen in this book. All of my expectations were met, but I felt drained after reading this book. There was so much repetition throughout the book that unfortunately I became very bored with their story and it took me a couple of months to get through reading the story, which has never happened with me and this series. 
The book was divided into sections, it was nice to see Jonayla as an infant and in the 2nd half of the book as a child. The acceptance of Ayla into the 9th cave is as expected after leaving off in Shelters of Stone. More so in the first half of the book than the last half when she pushes the people to develop more intelligent ideas regarding family life and the Great Mother. How people should be interacting with each other and the beginning signs of what a society has become today.
My main disappointment in the last book was the constant repetition of things we have already discovered in the other books. As a book that is so far into the series, the constant badgering of the past events was painful for me to read. It was not only that the people retold the story to each other to introduce the new people to Ayla, but you would find the same stories repeated over and over throughout the book several times. I think I can count 4 times about Ayla teaching the people of other camps the hand signals and the concept behind them. As a reader of the whole series I felt that really one reminder of why it is significant here in the last book was more than sufficient. There were several other concepts that were done the same way. Ayla would explain to the 1st something, then she would explain it to somebody else and have Ayala again back up the story with another example and on and on. 
So as the final book in the series all of my questions and desires were met. I just wish it would have been done in a shorter more precise way. I did not find it necessary to re-hash the whole series into one book. If you have not read this series and decided to just pick up this book, you would get all of the main points in the previous books given to you without having to have read them at all. It was a little long winded and I personally found all the additional reminders overwhelming and exhausting.
But of course I would not recommend that. Earth's Children has always been on the top of my list of favorites and I still highly recommend this series today.  And I am still giving this one 4 stars because it's a beautiful series and end to a fantastic series.