The Shelters of Stone

The Shelters of Stone

Book - 2002
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After their epic journey across Europe, Ayla and Jondalar have reached his home, the Ninth Cave of the Zelandonii, the old stone age settlement in the region known today as southwest France. Jondalar's family greet him warmly, but they are initially wary of the beautiful young woman he has brought back, with her strange accent and her tame wolf and horses.
Publisher: New York : Crown, c2002
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780609610596
Characteristics: xii, 753 p. : maps ; 25 cm


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Nov 09, 2020

I read this book to fulfil the goal read a book with a pink cover. I just love this series. they are not suitable for children or teenagers though.

Nov 24, 2018

I read this book quickly and found it much easier to get through than The Plains of Passage. That book (the 4th) was difficult for me because of the pages-long detours into descriptions of the landscape, plants, and animals that seemed to happen once every chapter or so (and this is coming from someone who enjoys looking at maps and atlases and learning about plants). I found the most interesting parts of the book to be those parts where Ayla and Jondalar met people on their journey and interacted with them, learning about their cultural differences.

This book was easier for me to read. The descriptions of landscape were just enough to orient the reader without becoming distracting interruptions from the story. I enjoyed learning about the day-to-day life of the Zelandonii, their religious beliefs and their technology. I didn’t enjoy the emphasis on social rank, and much of the plot and character development seemed to revolve around explaining who fit in where in their society, and why. I also found that Ayla was not quite as I remembered her— her interests seemed to have shifted somewhat in ways that confused me. That she would be willing to leave behind her identity of Medicine Woman, which she had previously declared was Who She Was, to settle down and have children, was a little mystifying and only a shallow explanation was given as to why. I also found it somewhat grating to hear her refer to herself as an “old woman” several times when she is only 19 years old. I understand this is a prehistoric perspective but it is made clear in the book that there are people in their society who live to be 50 or older, and Ayla has no concept of modesty or lying so this insistance that she is an old woman running out of time to have children is confusing to me.

SaraLovesBooks Jan 09, 2017

I was so excited when this book came out. I had been waiting for it ever since high school. I was incredibly disappointed. The book had a serious repetition problem, with repeating all of the events of the previous books. I understand that Ayla and Jondalar were telling their adventures, but we didn't need to read through it again...and again...and again. The reader did enjoy the telling when it was in the previous books, thank you. Don't need to re-hash it multiple times.

The most interesting part of the book were the struggles Ayla faced in having to adjust to a culture that had an unreasonable prejudice against her and the people that raised her. It made for tough reading (since I hate bullying), but in a good, well-written kind of way. Unfortunately, the plot only really gets intriguing in that last few chapters or so, when the book abruptly ends.

All in all, I much prefer "Plains of Passage" as an end to this series. The last two books were not as well-written, though "Shelters of Stone" was better than "Land of Painted Caves." If you have to finish the series, do so, but know that "Plains of Passage" is a much more entertaining ending to the story.

bibliosara Jan 06, 2017

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.

Jul 14, 2012

This book was okay. I personally feel Ayla would have been better off staying with the Mammoth hunters. The social order of the Zelandonii is a little confusing at times. Auel keeps up with the in depth details.

Jun 12, 2012

This book bored me to tears. It's like the editor was on vacation and it didn't get edited at all. Thus there are pages and pages of repetition, same thing over and over again. This happened to some extent in Plains of Passage but here it drove me nuts. Had it been edited down, it would have been a good story. It's like Auel was being paid by the pound or something. It's about the only time I'd recommend reading the Reader's Digest version of a book, if there is one!

Feb 28, 2012

Just finishing up this book of the series, It seems to me that the repeating or retelling of stories/history of the earlier books in the series is a flawed writing style, a dab of info is good, but it's like the writer wants to have readers that are too lazy to start at the beginning of a series to know the story line, to be able to enjoy the book as well. I did enjoy the passion scenes. :-)
I'm gonna try #6, tho the reviews are not very positive.

Sep 02, 2011

this is the second time ive read this, re-read because the next one is going to be coming out soon

Jun 02, 2011

This fifth book of the series begins when Ayla and Jondalar arrive at his home. It doesn't carry the story very far, but it gives good information on what was probable in the life of the people of that time.

May 12, 2011

I didn't enjoy this book as much as the early volumes in the series.

The story of Ayla and Jondalar continues, with some parts that are great and some that are very repetitive.

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SqueeGirl Oct 14, 2009

Pregnant Ayla travels with her mate Jondalar to meet his family and his people the Zelandonii. Once there she encounters the distrust of his mother, the jealousy of his former fiancée and the growing hostilities between the Zelandonii and the nearby Neanderthal clan.

Earth's Children Book #5


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