Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children #1)
A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly--she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.
The author of this book has put in countless hours researching and going over the little details and facts used in this cro-magnon man/neanderthal book, and it shows. I'll admit that the first part of it reads like a textbook, but it's necessary to truly understand the setting so the story can be told.
The rest of the book goes over the relationships and difficulties that Alya has as a human amongst neanderthals. It's fascinating watching the social rebellion and adjustments that have to be made throughout the book. It reads like a science fiction book, and I suppose it is, but it's closer to historcal fiction than anything. It's cleverly written, and at some points, it really does manage to tug some heart strings.
There's something very attractive about being able to learn something and enjoy it. This book made that possible for me.