Fans of The Earth’s Children by Jean Auel have been patiently waiting for the final segment in the series for several years…the first was The Clan of the Cave Bear where we met Ayla back in the 80’s…followed by The Valley of the Horses in 82. The story line got really interesting when Ayla met Jondalar and he introduced her to “Pleasures”…and readers blushed bright pink as the heat between them continued in The Mammoth Hunters in 85… and The Plains of Passage in 90…then nothing until 2002 when Auel published Shelters of Stone. I had almost forgotten about “Pleasures” until details of the final book started to leak out…well, my copy came this week…The Land of the Painted Caves .
Ayla is now a mother and is in training to become a Zelandoni. Sort of Medicine Woman/Spiritual Leader/Earth Mother figure. I wondered how the responsibilities of leadership would impact the “Pleasures”…well, it was page 86 or 87 before the word was even mentioned and that was because she and Jondalar were passing the tents where the First Rites of Pleasure would be performed…no heavy breathing from either of them…no secret looks of longing…nothing…I’m on page 105 and nothing…now, don’t get me wrong, I read the books for the archeological background not the s-e-x…but, a warm blush as I turn the pages is good for the heart rate…and Ayla is the original Pink Saturday kind of girl…she crafts and domesticated animals and serves tea using her own special recipes. She was the original Martha Stewart with a sensual side. I will continue reading and enjoying the bittersweet knowledge that this is the final chapter in the adventure that started two and a half decades ago…I guess like all of us, Ayala’s “pleasures” are beginning to change with the years…but knowing her and Jondalar, I’ll bet there are a few rosy pink flushes coming any page now. Have a Happy Pink week and thank Beverly for inviting us to join her in this weekly tradition. http://howsweetthesound.typepad.com/