Big thanks to all the Good Reads and Amazon reviewers who have already given this one a big THUMBS DOWN. You've given me permission to stop wasting my time hoping it will get better. I'm always afraid of being the one to burst everyone's expectation bubble without putting in a fair effort. No problem with that here. As of this writing, there are 398 ratings on Good Reads, and the average rating for all editions is 2.80! As I scroll through the first dozen reviews, ALL of them are one or two star ratings. This has to be the biggest bomb I've ever seen for a long-anticipated book by a popular author. I don't know what happened to Jean Auel's writing skills in the hiatus, but this book is purely awful! The dialogue is worse than the worst chick lit I've ever read, and the story is confusing and just plain BORING. I know the lady did a lot of research, but where were her editors? She didn't have to make this an epic. If she wanted to share what she'd learned about the painted caves she could have done that in a much shorter book. Bummer, dude. Back to the library it goes for the next eager person in line.