This is the story of Ayla, a 5 year old Cro-Magnon girl orphaned by an earth quake and raised by a clan of Neanderthals.
The story hits on the issues of gender roles, feminism, sexism, religion, societal mores and cultural values and expectations and possibly even pro-life as Ayla fights for the life of her son Durc who was conceived when she was raped and appears deformed because he is a mix of the two races.
It even talks to the problem of societal stagnation. The Neanderthal society has not changed for thousands of years as their brains are developed for "racial memory" which leaves no room for the the development of new ideas. The might Mog-ur, the clan priest/magician, realizes this as Ayla matures and challenges various aspects of the Neanderthal society. He see's that the Others (Cro-Magnon) are the future of mankind and rejoices that Ayla has a mixed race child so the the Clan (Neanderthals) will be carried on at least in some aspect.
I really enjoyed this story and look forward to reading the other books on the series.