One of the most anticipated books of 2017: The Millions, CBC, Chatelaine, Globe and Mail, Maclean's
From the author of The Bear, the enthralling story of two women separated by millennia but linked by an epic journey that will transform them both
Forty thousand years in the past, the last family of Neanderthals roams the earth. After a crushingly hard winter, their numbers are low, but Girl, the oldest daughter, is just coming of age, and her family is determined to travel to the annual meeting place and find her a mate.
But the unforgiving landscape takes its toll, and Girl is left alone to care for Runt, a foundling of unknown origin. As Girl and Runt face the coming winter storms, Girl realizes she has one final chance to save her people, even if it means sacrificing part of herself.
In the modern day, archaeologist Rosamund Gale works well into her pregnancy, racing to excavate newly found Neanderthal artifacts before her baby comes. Linked across the ages by the shared experience of early motherhood, both stories examine the often taboo corners of women's lives.
Haunting, suspenseful, and profoundly moving, The Last Neanderthal asks us to reconsider all we think we know about what it means to be human.
"Forty millennia separate the two female protagonists of this impressively executed novel from the author of The Bear.... [The] book's greatest strength [is] its ability to collapse time and space to draw together seemingly dissimilar species: ancestors and successors, writer and reader." (Publishers Weekly)
"The Last Neanderthal is astonishing. With delicacy and tenderness, Claire Cameron imagines the struggles of a Neanderthal family to sustain itself physically and psychologically in the face of extinction. As we follow Girl, her mother and brothers, and a mysterious stray called Runt, we are put in touch with what is most ancient and noble in human nature. At the same time, the parallel contemporary narrative shows us how little, over the eons, the human heart has changed. I'm thrilled by Cameron's adventurous and deeply empathic tale, an example of what fiction at its best can do." (Pamela Erens, author of Eleven Hours)
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The story is wonderful, the narration is HORRIBLE.