Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
Based on an Athabascan Indian legend passed along for many generations from mothers to daughters of the upper Yukon River Valley in Alaska, this is the suspenseful, shocking, ultimately inspirational tale of two old women abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine.
Though these women have been known to complain more than contribute, they now must either survive...more
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And, just like that, two elderly women are left to fend for themselves.
A rush of anger surged within her. How dare they! Her cheeks burned with the humiliation. She and the other old woman were not close to dying! Had they not sewn and tanned for what the people gave them? They did not ...more
I loved this tale of betrayal and injustice turned into hope, self-discovery, integrity, survival of extreme situation and friendship...Especially because the courageous survivors were two old frail women!
“Now, because we have spent so many years convincing the younger people that we are helpless, they believe that we are no longer of use to this world.”
This is a story before the time of Western culture, a traditional Athabaskan (natives of Alaska) story ...more
I loved this book. I can't wait to give it to my 89-year-old mother to read. It's such an affirmation of the dignity and wisdom of older age. My review may spoil the story for you so proceed cautiously from here.
Two Old Women is based on an Athabascan Indian legend. A starving tribe of Alaskan natives leaves two old women alone in the freezing cold to die, because every mouthful of food is precious, and ...more
They are believed to have descended from Asians who crossed from eastern Siberia into Alaska ...more
The story follows a small band of Athabaskans in a particularly hard winter, who make the choice to leave ...more
The story of the two vulnerable amid the inhospitable is fascinating survival. The author's style is sparse as the events unfold - there's no lingering before moving on to what is next. The downside is some characters seem shallow. Good story in a brief read.
While this is not great literature, I loved the messages. These women realize things about themselves that they have ignored and or didn't want to admit, but now their survival is a task ...more
This story takes place during an especially frigid winter. The members of the band are facing starvation as their sources of food become more and more limited. It’s easy to feel their desperation as the weather turns colder and colder. The ...more
How did these two old women make it when everyone else was starving? They supported each other and pulled each other through difficult times. Their late night conversations helped them remember previous successes and access long-forgotten strengths and skills. They were even helped by a daughter ...more
In the introduction, author Velma Wallis writes:
This story of the two old women is from a time long...more
before the arrival of the Western culture, and has been handed down from generation to generation, from person to person, to my mother, and then to me.
... This story told me that there is no limit to one's ability - certainly not age - to accomplish in life what one must. Within
All alone, or with a little help from some friends, you can cling to it no matter what the odds are and if you’re lucky triumph momentarily against death. Then your story will live on as an inspiration and give courage when hope is waning and in that way you would have conquered death. Metaphorically at least.
For who knows if these two old women—abandoned by their nomadic tribe during a famine— were not real life characters who were just lost in legend?
But the two women don't just sit down in the snow and die. Instead, they struggle to make their way to an old camp they remember as being flush with animals from the past, and with unexpected resolve and determination, the two women build a shelter from the freezing cold, hunt and store food, and make warm mittens and clothing from ...more
I was reading this book while waiting in ...more
Written by Velma Wallis, who was born on the Arctic Circle in Fort Yukon, Alaska, Two Old Women a story her mother told her when she was a child about the Athabascan people before the influence of European culture.
The People, a nomadic band of Athabascan Indians, are struggling to make it through a particularly ...more
This is a beautiful, well-written re-telling of a native legend. The depiction of the cold winter and utter aloneness the women face abandoned in the Yukon is written masterfully by Wallis. The women grow strong, fueled by their betrayal and ...more
Two old women vs. nature may not sound very exciting, but the story is effective. They have to rely on each other to survive. They are old, so not very physically strong, which means they need to find a way to use all their combined skills to make it.
I've read this book once and listened to an audiobook version once, and ...more
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|Cafe Libri: November's Book: "Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage, and Survival" by Velma Wallis||2||23||Oct 27, 2012 09:32PM|
She was born and raised in a remote Alaskan village near Fort Yukon, approximately 200 km north-east of Fairbanks. This location could be accessed only by riverboat, airplane, snowmobile or dogsled. Velma grew up among twelve siblings. Her father died when she was ...more