The Plains of Passage by Jean M. Auel
Ayla basically left Ranec standing at the altar to be with Jondalar. The two weren’t speaking very well, but they really did love one another. Ayla made the decision to make the long journey back with him to his home.
Along the way, they stopped to see several groups of people that Jondalar had met along the way. There was the group that Jondalar’s brother married into. They were happy to have Ayla and Jondalar. Ayla helped heal a woman’s broken arm there. Then they met some other travelers while crossing some rivers. More than once the rivers almost bested Ayla, Jondalar, Whinney, Racer, and Wolf.
They were warned against going a certain direction, but they went that way anyway because they couldn’t understand the people who tried to warn them. It turned out to be a bad idea to go in that direction. What they found was a settlement in upheaval. An angry woman had taken over things and imprisoned all the men. Jondalar was taken captive and was almost killed, but Ayla rescued him at the last minute. Wolf stepped in to protect Ayla at the most opportune time. Ayla and Jondalar were able to leave the settlement knowing they had done some good.
They met another group of people before crossing a glacier. The group was happy to see them, especially when they were able to help a young girl who had been brutally raped by a group of ruffians. They met a couple from the clan on their journey across the glacier, or very near it, and Ayla helped heal the man. They finally made it back to Jondalar’s home, about a year after they started. This would be Ayla and Jondalar’s home.
What I liked
I do really like this series; every book is long. Ayla and Jondalar get up to some of the craziest things. I enjoy considering how early peoples might have done things. How did someone first figure out how to make fire with flint and iron pyrite? How were the first horses tamed? What kinds of cultures did these people have? It’s all very intriguing.
Ayla is one awesome chick. She’s the kind of person most of us would probably want to be. Things get her down sometimes, but she keeps on ticking. It’s part of her mission in life to know as much as possible, at least that’s how it seems. I do admire her for that. She doesn’t shirk away from knowledge, which is something we should all strive for in life.
What I didn’t like
The foe that Ayla and Jondlar encounter in the man-imprisoned settlement is somewhat stereotypically a man-hating feminist, in a pre-historic sense, but she became that because of how other people treated her as a child and later as an adult. Look, we have to be careful about how we treat children and adults. It’s possible to mess a person up so badly that a monster is created. Psychopaths can be made by circumstances. If someone had treated the leader of this settlement with the care and respect that she deserved as a human being, we wouldn’t have had Ayla’s side story with her and people wouldn’t have died because this terrible woman wouldn’t have killed them.
Treating someone like dirt can lead to serious consequences down the road.
Get on your horse and saddle up for a journey across pre-historic Europe.
If you had to go back in time and live in pre-history, what continent would you live on and why?
What animal would you try to tame for a friend?