In Jean Auel's fifth book of her Earth's Children series, Ayla and Jondolar finally arrive at their destination: Jondolar's Cave. Ayla will have to rely on all of her experiences and her trust in Jondolar to adjust to this new home.

That's pretty much it. This book moves about as slow as the glaciers that Ayla and Jondolar had to cross to get home. I loved Jean Auel's previous books, although things started slowing down in the fourth book. But this book pressed my patience. I did finish it and enjoyed the progress of the characters. The plot was interesting, but it would have been better with about three hundred fewer pages. It is certainly an epic, and if you have an interest in ancient healing techniques or botany, I think you would find a lot more interest in this book than I did.

Ayla and Jondolar's experiences are fairly predictable in the Shelters of Stone, if you've been following the series. Auel depicts the challenges that Ayla faces when trying to adapt to an entirely new and different culture that harbors a strong distrust (nearly hatred) of the people she came from. She also struggles with her relationship with Jondolar: what are they going to be, now that they are settled in one place? Will Ayla become a mother, a leader, or a healer? Will she and Jondolar be satisfied in remaining at the Cave, or will new adventures call them to travel once more?

I would certainly recommend this to Jean Auel fans, as it nicely wraps up Jondolar and Ayla's journey. But, you should be prepared to skim a few pages.

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