Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Plains of Passage” as Want to Read:
The Plains of Passage
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Plains of Passage (Earth's Children #4)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  40,934 Ratings  ·  1,006 Reviews
Jean M. Auel. The Plains of Passage. New York: Crown, [1990]. First edition, first printing. Octavo. 760 pages.
First British Edition, First printing, 760 pages
Published 1990 by New York: Crown
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Plains of Passage, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Christine Hiney I think each book could stand alone. But I agree that you should start with clan of the cave bear. In my opinion The valley of the horses and the…moreI think each book could stand alone. But I agree that you should start with clan of the cave bear. In my opinion The valley of the horses and the mammoth hunters were the best books of the series. But they are all enjoyable. The author does back story for readers that read them out of order. Which helps but you have a better clarity if you read them in order.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Crystal Starr Light
Summary: Ayla and Jondalar travel to his homeland.

Oh, you wanted me to be a bit more specific? Okay.

Summary: Ayla and Jondalar head out to his homeland (because while Ayla is supposed to sacrifice her newfound family, the Mamutoi, Jondalar can whine and complain to get what he wants). They stumble upon Mammoths having sex, the Sharmudoi and the Ramudoi who almost immediately induct Ayla into their clan, a group of Femi-Nazis (aka, what many conservatives think Feminists are), a couple of Clan pe
Sep 27, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Another fabulous saga from Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children series. I’m really enjoying my trek across ancient Europe with Ayla and Jondalar, long as it may be. And I never dreamed I’d learn so much about glaciers!

Even though a good bit of this story took place between Ayla and Jondalar, alone as they made their way back to Jondalar’s homeland, they did encounter several groups of people along the way. Some good… and some not so good.

But the two managed to get even closer to each other, and
Dec 04, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Normally I don’t bother with reviews but I decided this time I would. I give this book 4 stars because despite so much repetition it was still a good read and I am eagerly getting to the next one. After I read the last book and read some quite funny reviews about how often things were mentioned (like we’d forget) I decided to keep a tally list for this book for some of the most frequently mentioned things. Enjoy.

7 x we are told Ayla can control whinny with her muscles in her legs.
8 x we get long
Nov 10, 2007 Stef rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, good. I liked this one slightly better than the last one. Ayla and Jondalar have kissed and made up and are on their way back to his home in Zelandonii. They meet some people, have some laughs, do it in the bushes, and show everyone they meet how awesome they are.

Also Ayla's superwoman transformation is complete. The girl can learn languages almost immediately, control horses and wolves, she practically invented fire, sewing needles, is a master at her weapons of choice- the sling, she ca
Jun 21, 2007 Kerry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm still at the very, very beginning of the book, but see that one little star? That's because the book essentially opens with an extremely graphic mammoth sex scene.

Oh, Jean...what am I going to do with you?
Aug 21, 2007 Renee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Botanists & Anthropologists
Shelves: topshelf
I get it. The struggle of the longest journey. The challenge came once I read it for the 3rd time... yes I love the series that much....then I realized I had to skip over 10 chapters, #13 - #23 as I flipped and scanned it was all a tedious and meticulous description of the landscape. The same animals that roamed the stepps, from mammoths, to horses/onagers, aurochs, deer, and mouflon, etc. I enjoyed the natural geographic studies of these sections, as I would any...but I'd already read it in the ...more
The more books are published in this series, the less magical the life of Ayla and Jondalar becomes to me.
First of all I have the feeling that whole text passages are just 'copy-pasted' from (a) previous book(s) into this one, because in my opinion there is a lot of repetition. These books are quite unique, and therefore it is not neccessary to repeat so much. It is disturbing the reading process and has no use: no book (at least not one that I read or heard of) looks like these. There's no cha
Jan 28, 2012 Annette rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Let's start saying that I loved the first three books of this serie. They were just so lovely, and they communicated something...they gave me that "pre-historic" vibe... I don't know, they were quite charming. But I'm having serious issues with this fourth one: I'm currently half way through it and I'm not sure whether to continue it or no, as I'm not sure if I'll read the last two books (I already own 'Shelters of stone' but 'Land of Painted Caves' is still unpublished in Italy...). Why?
Well, l
Jan 03, 2015 Margitte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I still have most of the books in this series. Just could not give it away. Read it a decade or more ago.

Jean M. Auel, née Jean Marie Untinen is an American writer. She is best known for her Earth's Children books, a series of historical fiction novels set in prehistoric Europe that explores interactions of Cro-Magnon people with Neanderthals. Her books have sold 34 million copies world-wide in many translations.

Feb 13, 2011 Iset rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with insomnia
Recommended to Iset by: No one - liked the first book so continued to read, but liked none of the sequels

Once again, Auel has clearly put a great deal of research into the book, furnishing her descriptions with plenty of attention to detail. However, once again, Auel takes it too far at some points, with some passages reading like they'd been lifted directly from an anthropological academic journal. I don't mind being given information about the environment in which characters move, in fact I relish it, but the way it's written, it really feels like a chopped up academic article forcibly inserted i
Dec 28, 2011 sj rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trashy-tuesday
This book should've been called How to Pleasure Your Way Across Europe, Righting Injustices Along the Way.

I've been meaning to do this write-up since I finished the book (over two weeks ago), but kept putting it off.  The Plains of Passage comes in at just under 800 pages, but they're 800 pages in which nothing much happens.  It's meant to chronicle the trip Ayla and Jondalar make from Ukraine to France (on foot, across a glacier) that takes over a year.  You end up feeling like you're there wit
Jun 28, 2012 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A reread of this book. I always enjoy this series, and this book is probably my favorite. Ayla and Jondalar have made the decision to leave the Mamutoi and make the trip back to Jondalar's home. Along the way they meet up with several other groups of people, some good and some not.

Ayla is nervous about leaving the Mamutoi, who have adopted her and given her a family of her own. But she loves Jondalar and will go with him despite her qualms. Because she was raised by "flatheads" after her own fa
Jul 11, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was a relief from the third book, The Mammoth Hunters which I found to be full of "Oh, come on!" with the love-triangle drama between Jondalar, Ayla, and Ranec.

This book was enjoyable and well-paced. Some of the descriptions of the flora & fauna of that ancient world get a bit tedious but you can tell it was extensively researched. I confess to getting very curious over whether any of these medicenes and foods would really work and taste good. If ever the apocalypse came, I would gr
Jan 16, 2008 Keely rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i love how the main character is so sure of herself, and what she wants in life... but the repetition of what she learned in the books that came before this get a little annoying, but it doesnt happen that often in this book, so i skipped a few paragraphs.

over all, in this book, the author creates a strengthened, comfortable relationship[between the main characters] with new adventures, and has that same rich-in-detail that i love so much.
Jun 29, 2011 GingerNut rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
mrs. fig
May 22, 2007 mrs. fig rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my God . . . the most boring book I've ever read! and i must give credit to jean auel because i read about how much work and research and time she puts into these novels and i know how accurate her descriptions are of everything . . . but she easily devotes 4 pages (atleast) to describing the terrain, the flora and fauna, the animals . . . and picture this . . . the story is about two people crossing ice age europe from one end to the other . . . and the book is 865 pages . . . the longest on ...more
Aug 25, 2009 Trine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, own, 2009, 2016
If all the repetitions and tellings of what happened in previous books (same information told and retold several times) were cut out and the scientific explanatins of the flora, fauna, clima and culture of the Ice Age were compressed and the geografic descriptions of areas for ever changed and never to be seen were minimized this book would be half the size and twice the book. The story is compelling but there is just too much you want to skip.
Jan 24, 2009 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fourth installment in Jean M. Auel's great Ice Age saga the Earth's Children series is The Plains of Passage, which tells of Ayla and Jondalar's epic journey across Europe. Aided by the horses domesticated by Ayla and her pet wolf, the duo hunt and gather their way westward. They encounter people that Jondalar met on his first journey eastward as well as meeting new people. Some of them are friendly and others are terrifyingly criminal.

Auel continues to craft and develop her core characters
Colleen O'Neill Conlan
THis is a looong book, but I suppose it would have to be, considering it tells of Ayla and Jondalar's long journey west across prehistoric Europe back to Jondalar's home. There are several long sections where not much happens, so we read about the landscape, the plants, and the animals. The best parts are when they interact with other bands of people along the way.

Ayla continues to impress everyone she encounters, and she is coming into her own not only as a healer, but as a bit of a spiritual/c
Oct 28, 2008 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 01, 2011 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, 2011
A reread to prepare for reading The Land of Painted Caves.

I decided to start with this one rather than Clan of the Cave Bear having read the first three so many times in the past. Jean Auel's later books suffer from much repetition of previous events, so I don't feel like I missed much of the previous three books! The Plains of Passage is interesting for its descriptions of glacial-epoch flora and fauna, but some of it drags and I found myself longing for some interaction with other ice-age peop
Rebecca Radnor
Having read the whole series.... book 1 ROCKED, book 2 was not bad... book 3 was cheesy.... book 4 was a bore, book 5 however seems to be getting back on track and is on par with book 2. Ms. Auel has this nasty habit of repeating everything so much that you have the feeling its to compensate for lack of inspiration. Lady, if we've gotten to book 5 all we need is a reminder (think flat heads) you don't have to tell us everything all over again, and DEFINITELY not more than once per book. That and ...more
I'm about 1/3 of the way through this book, but I will be setting it down for awhile. First off, it's not as good as the other 3. I have been able to skip pages and pages of material. She covers so much stuff and gives the background story to everything that happened in the last 3 books. I'm sorry, but I really don't know why anyone would read this who hadn't already read the first 3 - enough with the background into, already! Plus, after 3 full books, I've had enough of the sex scenes. And the ...more
Jan 27, 2011 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although this series is one of my favorites, this book was not the best. As I was reading this book, I became utterly bored. I would end up reading about a paragraph a night becasue I couldn't stand reading more. It was highly redundant, as it decribed the SAME THING about twenty different ways. Loved the other books in this series, but this one was pretty dry.
Rochele Knottingham
This is the book where Ayla and Jondalar bang their way across Europe. They leave the Mamutoi and head for Zelandonii, happening upon a few tribes along the way. Not a whole lot happens in this book other than travelling, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Ayla has developed into the perfect woman, which gets kind of boring, but I love Ayla anyways. All of the men think she's SO EFFING HOT OMG and Jondalar is kind of jelly about it. But then Jondalar's half-sister is in love with him, which is pretty ...more
M Strawberry Reviews
Having read the first three books in this series (the first being the best, hands-down) I was excited to read this book and see how Jondalar and Ayla would continue their journey.

Auel is very imaginative and descriptive, but she definitely overdoes it in some parts. You could easily cut out a couple of hundred pages from here (the original volume is over 800 pages) and not miss anything because she goes in such lavish, long descriptions of the landscape and flora and fauna. Now, I'm happy that s
Apr 23, 2013 Swankivy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the last of this series that I read. I was interested in what happened to Ayla, but after reading this book I felt like it was an awfully long book for nothing to have happened. It's Ayla and Jondalar traveling. It didn't really go anywhere, plot-wise. Which actually would normally be okay with me if the rest stops on the journey are interesting, but it's kind of the same thing over and over. Ayla has sex with Jondalar. Everyone who meets Ayla is impressed with her, and those who are mal ...more
Olivia Linn
Oct 18, 2016 Olivia Linn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Forth book in in the 'Earth's Children' series down and only two more to go. The Plains of Passage has been the longest book in the series so far and probably also the most descriptive. Unlike the last two book a lot seamed to happen on Ayla and Jondalar's long journey back home. I did enjoy the more developed plot line but I still stand by my previous reviews - The books are simply way too repetitious! It seams that each book is getting a little worse, as there is yet another book to sum up. If ...more
Mar 31, 2012 Line rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Der var et tidspunkt, hvor jeg troede, jeg ikke ville komme gennem denne bog. Hvor jeg nærmest slugte de første tre bind, var denne en langsom fordøjelse ... med en del forstoppelse undervejs! Ved side 400 skrev jeg:

"Jeg begynder at spekulere på, om nogen nogensinde er kommet gennem denne bog? Jeg slugte de første tre på et par måneder. Indtil videre har jeg brugt næsten et år på de første 400 sider af denne. Der sker jo intet! De vandrer og vandrer og vandrer - og dyrker sex, og dyrker sex - o
This novel, Jean M Auel's fourth in the Earth's Children series, is my least favorite of the five she currently has published. I've read this book fewer times than its three successors, due mainly because the level of details regarding the landscape dominates the storyline; we see far less of the characters in this book than in any of the others before or after. It's the "traveling" book in the series; its characters are making a Journey from the eastern borders of Asia to the western parts of E ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: [Speaker Portuguese] Combine books 2 129 Sep 18, 2016 10:24AM  
  • People of the Sea (North America's Forgotten Past, #5)
  • People of the Lakes (North America's Forgotten Past, #6)
  • Walkers of the Wind (The First Americans, #4)
  • My Sister the Moon
  • Voice of the Eagle (Kwani, #2)
  • The Reindeer Hunters (Reindeer Hunters, #3)
Jean M. Auel, née Jean Marie Untinen is an American author best known for her Earth's Children books, a series of historical fiction novels set in prehistoric Europe that explores interactions of Cro-Magnon people with Neanderthals. As of 2010 her books have sold more than 45 million copies worldwide, in many translations.

Auel attended University of Portland, and earned an MBA in 1976. She receiv
More about Jean M. Auel...

Other Books in the Series

Earth's Children (6 books)
  • The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, #1)
  • The Valley of Horses (Earth's Children, #2)
  • The Mammoth Hunters (Earth's Children, #3)
  • The Shelters of Stone (Earth's Children, #5)
  • The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children, #6)

Share This Book

“The other mammoths were as protective of the dying as they were of newborns, and they gathered around tying to make the fallen one get up. When all was over, they buried the dead ancestor under piles of dirt, grass, leaves, or snow. Mammoths were even known to bury other dead animals, including humans.” 9 likes
“In a world so empty of human life, there was comfort in the thought that an invisible realm of spirits was aware of their existence, cared about their actions, and perhaps directed their steps. Even a stern or inimical spirit who cared enough to demand certain actions of appeasement was better than the heartless disregard of a harsh and indifferent world, in which their lives were entirely in their own hands, with no one else to turn to in time of need, not even in their thoughts.” 3 likes
More quotes…