People of the Sea

by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O\’Neal Gear

I can\’t remember the last time a stranger approached me in public because of a book I was reading! But it happened just a few days ago in the park while my kids were playing- this guy came up to me surprised and delighted to see I was reading a book from his favorite series. He (and his dad) like the books so much they wait anxiously every few years for the next one to be published. The First North American series is written by a husband-wife team, one is an anthropologist, the other a historian and archaeologist. As far as I understand it, each book is set deep in pre-history, based on archaeological findings and ancient native legends from different areas of the continent.

This one is set in the region that became California, some eleven thousand years ago, in a time of glaciers and great change. It pitches into the storyline abruptly with people facing epidemics of illness while the megafauna around them is disappearing, especially the great mammoth herds. The focus is on two characters- a spiritual leader struggling to understand the changes and upheaval his people face, and a young woman fleeing her irate husband when he discovers she\’s committed adultery. I\’m pretty sure their paths intersected, but I didn\’t get that far. I just couldn\’t stay interested. I think because the story was told too quickly, it\’s an easy enough read but it was all about what happened among the people and I wished for a bit more description of the land and the animals… Disappointed I couldn\’t get into this one after the glowing personal recommendation I received, but the series as a whole has a lot of positive reviews online. Some people mention this one in particular is their least-favorite. I have another on my shelf, I\’ll give it a try instead.

Abandoned        425 pages, 1993

2 Responses

  1. I've not heard of this one, but the cover looks like the Clan of the Cave Bear series – which might be enough to make me buy a copy if I saw it. Sorry it didn't work for you. I hope your next try gives better results.

  2. I was hopeful too (I did so like Clan of Cavebear- at least the first one). But the second try didn't work either, I only got a few pages in and realized it just wasn't for me.

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