Having now gotten through 2 of these, I still have mixed feelings. The story is a really good one, and I love historical fiction and anthropological historical fiction like this, exploring how folks in the distant past may have lived. At the same time, I have to say there are many things about the style so far that are distracting to me.
It may be that the author is a woman, and she writes for a woman’s point of view, but I don’t think that’s all of it. In the second book, you could write an abridged version in about 10 pages or less, and it would be a good story to tell around the campfire. Auel expands that with tremendous detail about what’s happening within the story, but the detail doesn’t always contribute to or enhance the story. In many ways, I feel like she’s speaking in a voice meant for an adolescent girl.
While this is fine if you’re an adolescent girl, it’s distracting when you’re not. I think she could have developed a lot more story, and a lot more meat in the story, for the length of the book.
One disclaimer – there’s a good deal of sex in the story, and at times it’s a bit graphic. Since I’ve never read romance novels or stuff geared toward women, this could be common, but it seemed like quite a lot of emphasis to me, emphasis that didn’t necessarily improve the story (or detract from it). Just another example of something that felt too much like filler to me, and I would have liked more “meat and story”. If you’re the parent of an adolescent girl, you might want to read this before encouraging your daughter to read it. Personally, I have no problem with the way she wrote it as it relates to appropriateness for a 14 year-old daughter, but some parents might not agree with me.
I’ll keep reading these, because I so much like this sort of story. Her writing could mature as she goes through them – I’ll write another opinion after the 4th or 5th book. The bottom line, though, is that the story and the writing is good enough for me to keep reading them, despite the distractions!