The New Book Review

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Carol Wilhelm Introduces 91-Year-Old First-Time Author

Author: E. Irene Theis 
Genre: memoir 

Reviewed by Carolyn Wilhelm originally for Amazon

What an amazing and impressive story revealing changes in time regarding women, religion, culture, and family experiences over the 91 years (and counting) of the author’s lifetime. The author’s life began in the  tender care of loving parents on an idyllic farm setting in northern Minnesota. There was a wonderful Lutheran church community which was and still is a strong influence in the lives of her and her now grown children. It seems religion was helpful along the way. Color pictures of the family, church, and area are included in the book. I like the photos as looking through them while reading provides a real sense of her life and story. 

E. Irene Theis suffered through years of abuse (for her and some of the children). There was also constant moving while having and raising the five babies. For many years, she blamed herself for not getting a divorce sooner. The authors own words best explain the depth of the problems she faced:

“Then Dennis received orders to go to California. We took the train. When we got to the area, we rented a motel room. We didn’t have any money for food until Dennis got paid the next day, and all I had with us was two potatoes so I made potato soup with water and salt.”

Her daughter Denise attended at least 14 schools. You get the picture. 

In later years, the author became empowered through her work in business. Graduating from college at age 66 (yes, you read that correctly), she worked and joined the Business and Professional Women's Foundation (BWP). She was voted Women of the Year in 1990. She was State President in 1992, and on the National Board in 1992 and 1993. She accomplished many wonderful things and these are a few examples. She also proudly helped employ a woman at Midwest Federal as a very successful, though blind, switchboard operator. This is one example of how she could help others after all she endured herself. 

As a member of BPW, she was interested in women’s issues, especially women’s health, and yes, in their economic status. She attended seminars, workshops, and researched both the health and financial problems of women. She did remarry in a much better relationship which was wonderful for her and the children, which was nice to read about. She described her trips to Norway and China with perspective and vivid detail. After retirement, she is living independently, writing books, and has a youthful life. 

Impressive accomplishment to become a published author at age 91!


 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is her most recent How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically ( ) that covers 325 jam-packed pages covering everithing from Amazon vine to writing reviews for profit and promotion. Reviewers will have a special interest in the chapter on how to make reviewing pay, either as way to market their own books or as a career path--ethically!

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