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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless and timely wisdom
Two Old Women
by Velma Wallis

This is a wonderful little book with a moral that is timeless and timely. With more elder care being left to institutions families are no longer what they could be. We lose so much when we are no longer in daily contact with our elders so that they can continually pass on the lessons of experience. Without that we are left to...
Published on January 13, 2006 by W. Jamison

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Never Complain Again
Short, quick read. Wonderful story about survival and the value of elderly people. After reading this, you'll realize that you have too much unnecessary stuff.
Published on August 25, 2009 by Cathy Kendell


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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless and timely wisdom, January 13, 2006
By 
W. Jamison "William S. Jamison" (Eagle River, Ak United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Two Old Women
by Velma Wallis

This is a wonderful little book with a moral that is timeless and timely. With more elder care being left to institutions families are no longer what they could be. We lose so much when we are no longer in daily contact with our elders so that they can continually pass on the lessons of experience. Without that we are left to go it again for the first time and that often means failure.

It also teaches us not to cease working hard just because we can get away with being lazy when others will do for us. Stop doing something and you lose the ability to do it. A muscle needs to be used to remain muscle. A mind needs to be used to remain a mind.

Thank you Velma for passing on your stories to us.

I would also like to point out to those that did not like this book that half of the equation is what you bring to the book. Our interpretation and appreciation of something results not only from what that is, but from who we are.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle easy to read timeless tale great for grandma's bday, July 31, 2006
By 
This review is from: Two Old Women, 10th Anniversary Edition: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival (Paperback)
This is a wonderful book -- fairly short and a great gift for grandma. It tells how age does give us wisdom. A nice birthday book for anyone over 30. And especially for someone in their 50's and above. Grandma will love it. Why don't we cherish the seniors in our lives? The author Velma Wallis is one of a family of 13 children born in the fur-trapping Fort Yukon Alaska raised in the Athabaskan values. She wrote her book at 33 in a simple yet polished style. Two Old Women have a life of their own. It's a wonderful Alaskan legend that would make a good movie. Fabulous for a reading group or to read aloud to your older children night by night in the winter. Or to your husband in front of the fire....great vacation reading too. Don't miss it-- just caught it by accident-- hope you do too.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple really is profound, February 13, 2007
This review is from: Two Old Women, 10th Anniversary Edition: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival (Paperback)
As a teacher, I appreciate a book that can be read by any student at any age level. The life lessons taught in this tribal legend are timeless. The story unfolds begging the question of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few or the one(Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn).

The chief of the tribe must make choices - difficult ones at that. The conditions are harsh, the two old women have been using their age as a tool to get the younger tribe members to serve their whims - they even fake some physical maladies to play upon the Peoples' compassion. This, it turns out, backfires on them. The chief makes the decision to banish them from the tribe to serve the needs of the trible. He is concerned that the women will bring the tribe down.

There are times when people in charge have to make decisions that are unpleasant - this is a reality.

The women are left to fend for themselves and the tribe moves on. The issues of family, societal expectations, and betrayal loom heavily in the reader's mind.

It brings about the discussion of modern society's obsession with youth and our disdain for those who are aged. Our nation's homes for the elderly are brimming - this book speaks to that issue. Getting old does not mean useless!

The women call upon lessons learned in youth to survive. They also discover that they need each other in more ways than one.

While the book is an easy read-don't let that mislead you into thinking it is not sophisticated fare. The life-lessons taught are important for everyone to learn and take to heart. I am astounded by this book! It gets my highest recommendation. Buy it-read it-learn from it.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story for any time., May 30, 2006
This review is from: Two Old Women, 10th Anniversary Edition: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival (Paperback)
Two Old Women by Velma Wallis is a story, not just about the adventures of two eold ones abandoned by the tribe in times of famine, but it is also a story about friendship and fighting against the odds. It is based on a Athabascan Indian Legend which the author is able to bring alive in her own words and, yet at the same time, keep the meaning and flavor of the tale pure and true. The copy I bought, in Icy Strait Point, Alaska, was the Tenth Anniversary Edition. First published in 1993 it now seems to be in every book store I saw while visiting Alaska. The drawings by Jim Grant just add to the enjoyment of reading the story.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing and humbling story, September 19, 2005
This review is from: Two Old Women, 10th Anniversary Edition: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival (Paperback)
I come from the viewpoint of a thirtysomething male and this story and it's morals are definitely not lost on me. Given the same situation of abandonment and betrayal and I think I would have had a difficult time pressing on. I was humbled by the humanity of this story.

Velma's prose is clean and wonderfully readable. It is not a terribly long story and often felt like juvenile fiction because of the large type and illustrations, but it is a tale that all ages can and should enjoy.

I am buying several copies for local retirement homes and schools. I am interested to see the reactions from both groups.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Older and Wiser Women Thriving, June 2, 2005
This review is from: Two Old Women, 10th Anniversary Edition: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival (Paperback)
I have just finished this wonderful little book for the third time in as many years. Each time I read it, I am reminded how much our thoughts affect our reality and how much stronger we really are (despite our beliefs). This very positive story tells how two women (ages 75 and 80) are presented with a life threatening challenge, change their belief system out of need, and end up thriving. I think I'll keep this as an annual read - I need all the positive reinforcement I can get!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucky36@earthlink.net Positive,&inspirational for anyone, December 14, 1999
I read this story about 2 years ago and recommended for it Ophra's bookclub review. It is so uplifting and shows that someone of age can still be worthwhile and make something of their life, regardless of the situation they might be in. An older person has a lot of worth left to give to themself and others. Reading the story of how these two old women survived against the odds and how they helped themselves and each other to cope was inspiring. How they were left by family and friends and still moved on to survive, it something that happens to some of the aging people today. I reread this book every now and thenwhenever I feel down. The book helps us to remember that we can do anything we want to do, if we want it bad enough. It also helps us to remember that we are never too old to be helpful. An aging person has a lot of widsom to share if they can't share anything else. Talk to an aging person about their life and learn something new and maybe interesting to you.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I want my grandmother to read this book., October 12, 2004
By 
Michelle Levine (Jerusalem, Israel) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
How many elderly feel useless? Feel like shadows of their former selves?

This is a story of what two elderly women can do. They can save the day. This is a story of true courage, heroism and the fight for survival.

I want my future children to read this book. How many young people don't respect their elders as they should? Wonder why they should bother? Resent having to talk to their grandparents on the phone?

This is a story of two fascinating women who are just as analytical and emotional, kind and vengeful as anyone else. They have cliffhanger choices to make, that would keep any young person in suspense.

And the choices they do make are lessons to us all.

I want North Americans to read this book.

How many Americans are familiar with Native American culture? Traditions, history, diversity, literature? If we are going to LIVE in North America, we have an OBLIGATION to learn about the native people. AND ACCORD THEM SOME RESPECT.

Thank you, Velma Wallis, for this treasure that you share with us.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Old Women, February 15, 2004
This book hits on all the majors: being viewed as worthless, abandoned to die, female and I won't tell you the ending.
I left that message and how I thought it was a good book for her book group on my mother's answering machine. Based on just what I've written above and a photo copy of two random pages, they broke two unwritten rules (someone from the group had to have read the book and they only did paperbacks). At that time, it was only in hardback.
One member begins ever session with something about how she just couldn't get into the book but she persevered. This book she could not put down. Others also felt they could not put it down.
Another friend read this with her young daughter. A wonderful bonding moment.
The illustrations are stark, like the land where the story takes place. They fit well.
And, be sure to read the history of the author and the difficulties they had bring this to print. Impressive. I would have given some of my money too if they'd have asked.
I had two sets of two copies of first editions which are lost as each person I lent them to just had to send it on to someone else. So, I no longer lend out any copy I own. Instead, I encourage you to buy your own and see what I mean. Happy reading.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lesson for all women!, July 17, 2004
By 
Rhiannon NosTylluan (Santa Monica, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This is a wonderful read. Empowering to women, this is a wonderful story of courage and strength in the face of hardship. It shows why the wisdom of elders is honoured in many cultures. A must read for any woman who in the face of any hardship could use a little encouragement.
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Two Old Women, 10th Anniversary Edition: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
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