Coffee, Literature & Life: “Earth’s Children Revisited”
Okay. I said I couldn’t do it. That I had to stay away. Not indulge anymore.
I’m certainly not proud of myself. I feel less than fresh.
But Jean Auel’s such an amazing story teller, I couldn’t stay away, and so I’m back, reading “Shelters of Stone.”
I walk away from it at times because of the, well, to be polite, I’ll call it “radical erotica.” You know, what your Momma called “porn” when it was in my exbrother-in-law’s books.
Although, if she never picked up one and read it, how would she know what was in it?
Anyway, I picked it up and started reading.
Don’t get me wrong.
I’m not shocked by porn. I’m not on a crusade, not out to shame people who read racy books.
I just have no desire to go there.
Especially when it involves horses, wolves or extinct wildlife. As I’ve been out of fifth grade for a day or two, I don’t even get a sense of juvenile humor out of the idea anymore.
But I started reading Earth’s Children about fifteen years ago, after a couple of comparisons between Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear and my own Akatiel: Angel In Time.
There are really three incidental comparisons between the two. Ayla, Auel’s heroine extraordinaire, survives a lion attack. Akatiel is saved from ever being attacked by lions, hence her name Lioness of Callipi when she is raised to be a force to be reckoned with.
Ayla is a totally fierce survivor, raised by strangers to be able to thrive in adverse situations. Akatiel is a descendant of the only Mesoamerican tribe to never be totally suppressed by the Spanish conquest, raised by a famed hunter and trained by a mighty warrior in the ways of combat.
Ayla and Akatiel’s names both start with the “a” sound.
Basically, that is as far as comparisons really go. But in making sure I wouldn’t seem derivative in a project that took a lot to put together, a funny thing happened. I was entranced by the world Ayla was in.
Her earliest days were of a Cro-Magnon girl being adopted by “Flatheads,” known among themselves as “The Clan,” which we would know as Neanderthals. They found her and when the other Clan members were leaving Ayla to the elements, Iza, their medicine woman, insists on rescuing the doomed tyke.
When an unfriendly by the name of Broud ascends to leadership, he exiles her and makes her leave her mixed blood son.
Valley of the Horses has her survive, thrive, find animal friends that one might assume are the very first ever domesticated, and running into Jondalar, who will be her love interest and co-protagonist in future installments. She meets other peoples, beside Jondalar, goes through amazing adventures, and weaves the possible day-today existence of pre-historic man based on archeological hints into an amazing sequence of events.
If you saw the movie, don’t judge a book by its movie. The series is actually great, Clan remaining my favorite, if you can get past the por…er, the erotica, or if you’re into that sort of thing.
Till next time, keep reading.