I've been a devoted fan of this series since the beginning, although COTCB was not my favorite. This sixth book has Ayla settling into her extended family and her new vocation as a zelandoni.
The amount of repetition did not bother me as much as it did some readers, although i did skip the Mother's Song each time it was repeated. But I agree that the endless descriptions of the cave paintings got tiresome. At least in earlier books, the end papers usually had some of the cave figures reproduced. That's one reason why I bought the hardback book of Painted Caves, as well as the Kindle edition to read. That and the great maps. Well, imagine my chagrin when there were no drawings and very disappointing maps.
I also must admit I was disappointed by the book on the whole. In the middle I had to stop for a while, just when one of the interminable cave visits was about to start. I thought the whole donier journey section was gratuitous. It added nothing to the story, just gave Auel a way to describe several more painted caves.
Part III picked up a little again, and I'm glad I finished reading the book but like others, when I got to the end I thought, that's it? that's all? It really did feel like Auel was tired of the story or maybe tired of writing and wrote the easiest book she could just to get done with it. Sad.