Daughter of the Red Deer

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a novel that will evoke comparisons with Jean Auel's Earth Children series, the author of a trilogy about the making of modern Britain (most recently, The Edge of Night ) now tries her hand at Ice Age Europe. Though it contains none of the elaborate and flowery prose that often mars Auel's work, the novel also lacks the detailed research that makes that novelist's work so convincing. Wolf's introduction of a three-word cave-person vocabulary--``sa'' (yes); ``na'' (no); and ``dhu'' (where)--is a distracting affectation. The remainder of the language is explained in a curious afterword in which Wolf maintains that the book is a ``fable'' based on speculation. A tragedy that deprives a tribe of all of its female members forces the clan's young men to kidnap and assimilate the distaff members of another tribe. The ensuing saga, though often predictable, intertwines the fate of the marauders with that of the violated tribe. The former is patriarchal, the latter a matriarchy. In a tritely upbeat fashion, the story ends with the melding of the best of both cultures. Despite its drawbacks, for many readers this will be a satisfying and broadly accessible prehistoric drama. First serial to Good Housekeeping; Literary Guild selection. (Nov.)
Library Journal
With Daughter of the Red Deer , Wolf moves into Jean Auel territory to tell a story of the prehistoric tribes who created the magnificent cave paintings at Lascaux. The patriarchal Tribe of the Horse has lost most of its women in a tragic accident. To preserve the tribe, they capture 16 girls from the matriarchal Tribe of the Red Deer, including the priestess's daughter Alin. The resulting clash of cultures sets in motion a tightly constructed, fast-moving plot, which is made even more compelling by the growth the main characters experience as they learn from one another. Wolf's writing isn't as dense with research as Auel's, but her stirring plot and a compelling love story compensate for less detailed background. A satisfying read; highly recommended. Literary Guild selection; serial rights to Good Housekeeping .-- Beth Ann Mills, New Rochelle P.L., N.Y.
Kirkus Reviews
This fourth novel by the author of The Road to Avalon, Born of the Sun, and The Edge of Light travels backward in time from Dark Ages Britain—which has been Wolf's customary haunt—to the prehistoric world of Cro-Magnon man. To make her move, Wolf has obviously studied up on her Jean Auel, mastered some of the mega- seller's lessons, and even bettered her in some vital areas. The protagonist here is a young woman named Alin, heir apparent to one of the last remaining matriarchal societies in the Pyrenees region of southern France (famed for its cave paintings, which are referred to throughout). She's about to participate in the Sacred Marriage, a fertility rite during which the women in the Tribe of the Red Deer choose mates. But just before the chanting starts, Alin and a number of other girls are kidnapped by a band of hunters from the Tribe of the Horse, led by the primordial hunk, Mar. Alin's amazed at the way things are ordered in Mar's patriarchal tribe ("What I am saying, Mar, is that neither should have the rule...a marriage should be like a hunting fellowship") and manages to make some changes. Meanwhile, at the Spring Fires, Mar teaches her that no matter how capable women are, they still need men. Eventually, Alin's tribe comes to reclaim her, but she won't be able to live without Mar for long, and when she returns to him, it's to build a new, gender-balanced society. Post-feminist prehistory then, well researched and thought- out. Though it lacks the geologic scope and visual sense of an Auel, its characters and themes are sharper—making it an exceedingly strong contender on the prehistoric-fiction front.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525933793
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/20/1991
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    Best prehistoric fiction

    I have read this story hundreds of times! If you love this type of ancient fiction, you will love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2009

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    Posted January 8, 2014

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