Jean M. Auel Message Board
Nancy posts on 8/18/2011 1:55:49 PM
Woman in love vs. woman disappointed in love is just too simplistic, and Jean Auel was anything but simple. I also don't think there's any way in the world Jshe grew tired of Ayla. I read a quote by her once (from after the fifth book) that she couldn't imagine her life without Ayla. I am so grateful for the first books, which I've read so many times I've lost count, and, as disappointed as I was with the last one, I will never condemn her for it. We don't know if it was due to illness or age that the story was so incomplete and contrary to our expectations of the way Ayla would act, or even if someone else finished it, if in fact she was unable to finish it herself. I won't read the last one again, but I know I will continue to reread the others. I can be satisfied with an ending that has Ayla deciding to become a zelandoni. Ms. Auel's work has been phenomenal. Mostly, I am sad for her that she knows the final book in her hugely successful and popular series was so poorly received and such a disappointment to her readers. I will always be grateful to her and a lifelong fan.
sue posts on 8/18/2011 11:44:40 AM
Although the majority of us are disappointed in the last book, and I will probably never buy it and may not even read it, one thing I am grateful for is the incredible fountain of fan fiction erupting from the series. My favourite fanfic series is written by Anita Moran - or avmoran is a pen name. Fantastic stories that cover almost every loose end there is.
I think what happened to Jean is that the early books were written by a woman in love, and the last one by a woman disappointed in that love, so if her love ended badly, so would Ayla's.
laura posts on 8/18/2011 8:10:34 AM
I refused to buy the last book and read it. My reasoning was rather simple. I see many patients a week and most who are over the age of 65, have one or more "medical conditions" that substantially limit-effect at least one or more major life function. If someone started to post messages-complaints about a Grandmother who was repeating stories, excluding facts, rambling with incoherent thoughts, and boring us, we would understand. We Would NOT attack,belittle, or viciously condemn the Grandmother. We would show honor, respect, and appreciation. Mrs Jean Auels contribution -collection is a Masterpiece. Everyone knows if you live long enough,physically,mentally,emotionally,spiritually, we change...especially if depression, highblood sugar levels, heart conditions,parkinsons...etc...DO You HEAR Me ??? Be sensitive to how you are so quick to condemn a woman who for 30 years was on the top of her game. I've been very disappointed with the majority of the postings. I would have liked to have been entertained with another great story. But I really didn't need to. I have become Ayla in my own way. I can imagine and daydream about how I would have lived and Loved in prehistoric times. Please STOP being so barbaric with criticizing a woman for slowing down after a life full. Xoxoxo to Jean Auel
Mirjana posts on 8/18/2011 7:36:49 AM
Dear Jean and all the fans of your fiction,
I was 18 when I read the first book (available only as a translation back then), and I have bought and read all of them as they were published over the years in English. Ayla has become a true heroine in my heart and I felt a need to re-read the books again and again. Just as any other fan, I have had a good idea of what I wanted Jean to write in her final book. However, it did not happen. I did take the time to read it as carefully as the previous ones, but just could not feel the ardor any more. In the meantime, I have recommended the series to numerous friends, students and my own children (I have three sons). I have often felt that special connection to Ayla in terms of inner analysis, strong will and courage, sometimes also accompanied with good luck. Although she truly suffered a lot, she also gained her power from constant state of watching, performing her duties and awakening her true, female self.
Why, Jean, why did you write the book, just to finish the series? This one could and should have been done without any further research. It should have been fiction only, reuniting all the important characters, esp. Durc, but also others. I believe that we could all have understood if you had never finished the series due to your illness. On the other hand, so many people feel disappointed and cheated into reading numerous pages of descriptions and whole parts, which were simply taken from previous books. There has always been some repetition (esp. in Ayla's dreams and inner monologues), but it never got out of hand. This book seems to have risen from loose ends and some previously unused ideas, but even its major plot entanglement was already seen before. I wish you had been my age when you started writing the books. Then, perhaps, you would have had the real ending in mind when you started the last one. As time was passing, the empty space between the last book written and the new one coming, was greater and greater. I believe you got tired of Ayla, or there were other circumstances that prevented you to finish the series as brilliantly as you started it. Unfortunately, my dream did not come true, as I believe happened to many of your fans and admirers. I am sorry because of that, but I feel the urge, nevertheless, to thank you for many beautiful hours I had spent reading and re-reading your books. All the best, Mirjana
Mark posts on 8/16/2011 5:56:47 PM
Do you think Jean would let someone else continue the series without her? If all her readers were unhappy with her effort why not let someone else give it a shot?
I know several people who have read this book and none liked it. It falls way short of the mark.
Corina posts on 8/13/2011 4:08:12 PM
In defense of Jean Auel: I too have been an ardent admirer of Jean Auel and followed the adventures of Ayla since I was young. Now, neither Ms. Auel nor I am young anymore and there have been times I wondered if I would make it to the end of the series or even if she would. Now she has told us that it is concluded. Like many of you I was also disappointed when I read this last book. But I have had time to reread the series now in its entirety. I have come to the conclusion that it reflects life, maybe more so than we would wish. Yes, it is a work of fiction. But Ms. Auel has spent the greater part of her life studying and researching this time period, even doing field work. In another life she might have been an archaeologist or anthropologist rather than a fiction writer. As it is, many professionals openly admire her work and praise it for her insight and bringing this time period of human past to the public in such a way that we can understand how we came to be who we are. Considering that, the conclusion to the series reflects life as it is. Rarely do we have a neat and tidy ending to anyone’s life story. Ayla lives on and were Ms. Auel younger, we might expect another book though I doubt it will be. There are many loose ends but whose life doesn’t have them? Yes, I wish she had written out the story for us. But this way we are free to carry on in our own imaginations however we wish. How would you continue the story? Let’s use this forum not to complain but to continue the story and be grateful that Ms. Auel has introduced us to Ayla and her people and through them, to each other. So let’s get creative. What happens next?
Bill K posts on 8/12/2011 3:37:01 AM
@ Mark, I would think Jean Auel has all the copyrights to the Earth's Children. The publishers have rights about reproduction. It's in front of the books about copyrights and publishers rights.
Mark posts on 8/11/2011 5:58:24 AM
Maybe someone else should write the last book. There are a lot of possible story lines left and the ending was horrid. Is it possible for the editor or publisher to assign a book to another writer?
Pat Romano posts on 8/5/2011 11:35:00 PM
Reading this book was like being punished for doing something awful. The "story" in the book could have been told in two chapters. Way to much repetition... the mother's song, the paintings, the creepy caves, the monotonous introductions of characters to each other over and oved again; there were ever repetitions of whole sentences. What a grand disappiontment.
Miriam Ricci posts on 8/4/2011 5:02:12 PM
What a sad ending to a great series. I, too, had been waiting for news of Durc. Also, if I had to read the "Mother's Song" one more time, I was going to slit my wrists.
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