Set in the Stone Age in Scotland, this novel follows the fortunes of a number of families, their battles with each other and their struggles to find enough to eat. A tsunami pushes one group into the territory of the others which sets up lots of tensions.
The novel is structured in the form of a storytelling session round a campfire, but unfortunately the various characters all sound the same, no-one has a distinctive narrative voice.
What I loved about the novel is the close shamanistic relationship the people have with the animals, mediated by Go-Betweens, shamanistic figures who can communicate specially closely with the animals. As a result the animals choose 'give themselves' to the hunters and help humans in other ways too:
Dolphin saw Bakar's danger. But Dolphin didn't know the marshes - he'd never hunted there. Swan knew. Dolphin spoke to Swan and Swan took Bakar's spirit from where it lay and flew with it out of the marshes. Swanran across the water, splashing with every step - a man's spirit is heavy and not used to flying.
It's an adventure story set in the far distant past, but with plenty to say about our current relationship with nature.
The Gathering Night by Margaret Elphinstone published by Canongate.