Two Old Women: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage, and Survival by Velma Wallis


2018-10-17-10-24-38.jpgI came across this short book when looking for something for Read Harder 2018 task 23, a book with a female protagonist over 60. I kept finding short books that piqued my interest for this task, so I decided to read two of them to fulfill. This is the second one, the first one had been Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika. It was surprisingly difficult to find something for this. Over 40 was easy, but 60 was much more difficult than I thought it would be.

The two old women in this legend are 75 and 80 and great examples of a strong female character. I know that term is so played out, but that’s part of why it’s perfect here. The old women feel their age and complain about it and are left by the People of their tribe during a particularly difficult winter. They’re not only left in a bad situation, but with a lot to think about too. Fortunately, they have each other.

My favorite thing about the legend is the way little sympathies worked together and the way the two old women not only remember what needs to be done but the muscle memory of doing it. Of course, the message of the story is also a great one for people of any generation and culture to remember. Being old really doesn’t mean useless.

It makes for a great read for Read Harder, feminists looking for legends of women, and anyone looking to read a book for Native American Heritage Month. Add to Goodreads for later.

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