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In Kura, a prehistoric village of women, peace and stability reign under the rule of the tribal Mother. The granddaughter of the current Mother, Snap, is about to undergo her first Bonding ritual, when the women choose mates. Bapoto, a strange man with unfamiliar spiritual ideas, arrives and begins to accumulate power, shifting the society away from its matriarchal structure. Snap resists and is driven from the village. Desperate and pregnant, she must find the wisdom and courage to save her village from Bapoto's threat. Austin, a former doctor with a serious passion for paleoanthropology, brings exhaustive research and strong writing to her debut. She accomplishes an extremely difficult task-to get readers to understand a community that resembles both human and animal societies, but the world she depicts is so alien that at times it's difficult to relate to. Still, this is a remarkable first effort, and Snap and her companions will easily engage readers. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.