Jacqui Murray’s third book in her series Dawn of Humanity, Natural Selection as part of her Man vs Nature series, describes Lucy’s final journey.
The nickname “Lucy” is often used by researchers depicting the oldest skeleton on the origins of our genus.
Jacqui Murray’s Lucy is built on the facts drawn from these numerous scientific studies. Her bibliography at the end of the novel cites an impressive array of research done on the Lucy skeleton from the development of language, group thinking rather than authoritarianism, making tools, expressing feelings, the evolution of counting and thought.
Jacqui Murray dates her Lucy (Homo Habilis) about 2 million years ago. The plot is one of an adventure/thriller set in a primitive and treacherous world inhabited by dangerous predators which Lucy and her tribe struggle to survive as they face death defying odds.
Yes, there is war and seeing members of one’s tribe slaughtered. This is a novel of adventure filled with plenty of natural obstacles, finding shelter whether temporary or to set up as a base camp, fighting the weakness brought on by hunger and always avoiding being attacked by their enemies and healing members who have been injured and betrayals.
Yes, there is also the joining of other packs making Lucy’s pact an eclectic group with various skills. Lucy regards all animals as equal and some even superior to her in their ability to perform useful tasks she is incapable of doing herself.
What fascinated me about Lucy were her attributes. She is brave. She is a persistent leader who is perhaps one of our earliest feminists in that she becomes the leader to fit in a man’s world. Lucy is capable of having dreams, of passion and curiosity. Her character shows, what today we might call romantic feelings towards her pairmate. Lucy is also kind and caring. She is knowledgeable about using plants to heal and is intuitive.
Because there are many members of different tribes and animals to keep tract of, I found it useful to read the novel on my iPad alongside the characters and glossary of terms on my Kindle.
This is a series which broadened my knowledge of how we evolved to where were are today, thanks to Lucy and her tribe and to Jacqui Murray’s extensive research into prehistoric mankind.