Book Review Of “The Last Neanderthal” By Claire Cameron

40,000 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. (From Goodreads)

I rate this book a solid five stars.

To be honest, I was sent this book by Little Brown Book Company, as I am one of their book ambassadors. Because of that I was sent this one to read and review. I hadn’t heard much about it at that point. However upon reading the synopsis, I knew it was going to be the first one I read out of the 4 books they sent. I am so glad I picked this one up.

This book was breathtakingly beautiful, as well as utterly tragic. It showed what both Girl and Rose had to do to survive, both in Neanderthal times, and modern times, the problems women face, and the struggles dealing with motherhood. I won’t lie to you guys, there are a few moments in this book that just crushed me. But I also understood why they had to happen.

This book is written in such a fantastic style, alternating between Girl and Rose, learning about them, about their character, and their families.

Neanderthals have become so fascinating to me, upon reading this book. I found myself on YouTube watching documentaries on Neanderthals and Modern Humans. Watching the world of science evolve and finding new theories every day about them. I love books that I learn from, with topics that I want to research more of. I come away with new knowledge and appreciation for the subject matter.  Much appreciation to the author for striking up such a desire to learn more, within in me.

When they slept, they were the body of the family. That is how they thought of themselves together, as one body that lived and breathed. – Claire Cameron

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