the Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel
A five-year old Cro-Magnon girl is suddenly orphaned and left homeless by an earthquake that destroys her family's camp. Having been attacked and nearly killed by a cave lion she collapses, on the verge of death.
The narrative switches to a group of Neanderthal people, the "Clan", whose cave was destroyed in the earthquake and who are searching for a new home. The medicine woman of the group, Iza, discovers the girl and asks permission from Brun, the head of the Clan, to help her, even though she is clearly a daughter of "the Others". The child is adopted by Iza and her brother Creb. They call her Ayla, because they can't pronounce her name. Immediately after Iza begins to help her, the clan discovers a huge, beautiful cave; many of the people begin to regard Ayla as lucky, especially since good fortune continues to come their way as she lives among them. Ayla's different thought processes lead her to break important Clan customs, particularly the taboo against females handling weapons. She is self-willed and spirited.
Her main antagonist is Broud, son of the leader, an egomaniac who feels that she takes credit and attention away from him. As the two mature, the hatred between them festers. When they are young adults, Broud rapes Ayla, but she becomes pregnant, and rejoices in the birth of a son.
The book ends with Creb's death, Broud's succession to the leadership, and his banishment of Ayla, who sets off to find other people of her own kind. She is not allowed to take her son with her. The separation haunts her with guilt and grief for the rest of the series.
Statement of Intent
I'd like to have the dust jacket unfold by showing different significant events that happen in Ayla's life with the Clan….and when you are done unfolding it, it shows some sort of suspense, kind of a prelude to the next book in the series, The Valley of Horses…I'd like for the ending poster show Ayla being exiled from her Clan, and in search of her own kind.