Jean M. Auel Message Board

C A F posts on 5/29/2011 4:52:50 PM I am re-reading Shelters of Stone to get up to speed for Painted Caves. (Sorry I have read the pans of Painted Caves but will decide for myself.) I have been interested in the matriarchal aspects of life presented in the books and especially in Shelters of Stone. I have not been very successful in trying to confirm whether or not these aspects are based in some sort of researched fac. Some resources say matriarchies existed in neolithic and paleoithic periods but some researchers claim there was never a matriarchy in the world's history. Does anyone know more about the existence of matriarchies during prehistoric times or how this came to be portrayed in Auel's writings?
Debra Levine posts on 5/23/2011 1:23:33 PM Just finished the book. Didn't know that there was a controversy a question about authorship. However, as I was reading it, the thought kept coming into my head that there was n o w a y that this was written by Jean Auel!!! There was no blend of story lines; nothing that draws the reader in; no tie in to future story lines, even if they won't be written; pedantic descriptions of caves that were remarkably similar; no sense of beauty; many lost opportunities for more in-depth relationships... The other thing I was thinking about considerably was going back to read the original-and it appears that others had that thought too! We can conclude that for fans of the original books, this one is not the 6th or the end; it is a big disappointment.
Bill K posts on 5/16/2011 6:42:37 PM I posted on 5/5/2011 that Part 1 could have been left out altogether. After finishing the book I still think that, with a little change. Ms. Auel miss a good chance for Ayla to meet some of the people of the clan, when they when to the last cave in the southern region. There meeting mix breeds of the clan, whom had been cast out by the clan. The clan blaming them for the sick and dead in the clan, that had come among them. They were planning a trip to go the far northeast to join a great leader named Durc and others of mix breed, who also were cast out. At the end of the book I would have Jondalar and Ayla be force to leave the Ninth Cave, because of the fight. A small group of people deciding to go with them, with Jondalar and Ayla as their leaders. They would set up a new camp on the other side of Doni's Healing Waters, a two day walk for the ninth cave. This is the way I would have like the story to end.

Nancy posts on 5/16/2011 3:34:53 PM Sara, there is a site (Earth's Children)with an "Ayla's Herbs" section. ECFans dot com. It's great.
Bert posts on 5/16/2011 11:03:11 AM I feel sure that Jean is the author of the Painted Caves, and I am happy that she wrote it. I have been so engrossed in Aylas life for so long I would have really felt robbed if it had ever been announced that there would be no number 6. Yes, this book was totally lacking in anything I expected, and I felt a little robbed until I realized Jeans age is 75. At 70 myself, and with a few age related infirmities of my own, I can see a proud, elderly, lady trying to fulfill a 30 yr old plan of 6 successive stories. The loss of 4-6 percent of my words have put quite a damper on my everyday communication skills, and having to communicate to so many fans could be mind boggling for Jean. To lose even a small amount of her vocabulary, as immense as it must have been, could be the reason for the long delay of the last few installments. While I will never place an artificial time limit on a persons productive life I can, at my age, understand a possibility. Yes, I do feel deprived by not reading an ending I would have considered more fitting for our heroine, but, because of the thoughts stated, I accept it. I ask again for someone younger to take up the sword and continue, maybe with a story where Jonayla becomes interested about where and how her mother had learned her lessons of life, and maybe a journey to find her brother.... Bert
Sara Dahms posts on 5/16/2011 9:04:45 AM Is there a list of Jean Aul's herbs, roots etc that were featured in all her books? I would love to have it, as I have an interest in the ancient uses of these for medicinal purposes, can anyone help?
Darwin posts on 5/12/2011 7:15:39 PM I know the Cave Bear book is sooooo good. About 3/4s through on my second read threw. Plus, as I said before, you pick up so many more things that you know will surface/reflect in the future books. I can't wait to read Valley of the Horses again - and Mammoth Hunters. One good future episode I can see from the Cave Bear is someone needs to kick Broud's butt. Maybe get Talut and Danug to wail on him some how. He really deserves it for how he treated Ayla and how he is so full of himself. Like you said, there are so many more stories that could be told. Perhaps another is that Durc leaves the Cave Bear clan and starts a clan of his own - kinda like the old legend that bears his name.
Blueberry posts on 5/12/2011 11:59:55 AM Mindy, I agree. To get the bad taste of Painted Caves out of my mouth so to speak, I went right back to CotCB and re-read it and it was as great as I remembered it! Tight plotting, yes, full of details, but all necessary, characters well-formed,interaction between characters totally worked out and believable, gripping plot, believable interior monologues from many of the characters,foreshadowing where it matters. Yes, Jean really put us all there WITH Ayla--in Book One. Why is this last one so sloppy?!! And yes, I resent having spent the price for it, too. Bert, what do you think about Kracine's idea to ask the fan-fiction writers to carry on? Darwin suggests Ayla in her golden years. There are so many ways to continue,and so many stories to create! Who will do it? I am no Little Red Hen, folks; I am no writer! But there are plenty of talented people out there who could carry it on. I almost wish Jean hadn't written this last book. Isn't that sad. No, I don't think someone else wrote it, despite the glaring differences between books One and Six, just that Jean must have lost interest,lost direction somehow, got too involved collecting art, maybe, and felt obliged to slap down another several hundred pages to make some bucks? OK, OK, no more stoning of Jean...
Darwin posts on 5/12/2011 11:58:02 AM That's an interesting thought Jean didn't write Caves. I sense she did, but lost her train of thought and passion to finish all the stories lines as mentioned. Especially not seeing her son Durc, and her clan, again. That could have easily been arranged by having the Clan Meeting and a Summer Meeting close by. And of course the yet to be told story of Ayla becoming a First, or perhaps a leader. It's sad that there is not closure on so many things. I really liked the series (except for some repetition) and was looking forward to a good ending.
Mindy posts on 5/11/2011 1:59:20 PM After further review I have come to think Jean Auel did not write this book. It can't be her. I have compared this last book to the first and the writing style isn't even the same. What do you think?
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