The Plains of Passage by Auel

Alya, Jondalar, Whinney and Wolf look over the plains
Plains are empty of people.

In The Plains of Passage, Jean M. Auel picks up her story of Alya and Jondalar’s horseback trip from the Black Sea westward along the Danube, across a glacier, and on to Jondalar’s home into what is today France.

Alya fears Jondalar’s family won’t like her.

He worries he might not be able to father a child by her.

They meet few people on their travels. Those they meet are astonished that they ride horses instead of eating them and severely frightened by Alya’s tame wolf.

The pair win friends by sharing their knowledge. Alya is a medicine woman, animal trainer, inventor of a sewing needle, and discoverer of stones that, when struck, produce sparks for fire.

Jondalar is skilled in working flint for knives and spearheads, and inventor of a spear-throwing device that makes hunting big game easier.

To liven up the book, Auel provides a blow-by-blow description of each time Alya and Jondalar have sex. By comparison to Auel’s description of the sex life of the woolly mammoth, it’s pretty hot stuff.

Most of the book is taken up with descriptions of the geography and plant and animal life along the traveler’s route. It would be more interesting as a National Geographic program.

The Plains of Passage by Jean M. Auel
Vol. 3 in the Earth’s Children™ series
Crown. ©1990. 760 p.
1990 bestseller #1; my grade: C

©2020 Linda G. Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. My program for turning teens and adults into competent writers is just eight sentences, 32 words.

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