Cover Image: Little Souls

Little Souls

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Member Reviews

Compelling and timely Little Souls is the story of what makes family.  1918 and two sisters that lost their parents move west settling in Denver where they end up becoming guardians to a little girl and  each find a man to love. But there's a war and a flu pandemic that must be finished before they can be truly happy.
This is the first Sandra Dallas book that I've read and I enjoyed it a lot.  Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC of Little Souls by Sandra Dallas. What an amazing, and timely, story of the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918. This is set in Denver and tells how sisters deal with the influenza and the heartbreak it brings. Helen and Lutie are sisters and need to take in a tenant’s daughter, Dorothy, when the mother dies of the influenza and the father disappears. The fact that the father is a bootlegger provides an interesting angle in the story. The author paints a story that breaks your heart and then fills it back up again with hope for the future. I wish I read this sooner but I couldn’t have read it faster. If you are looking for historical fiction that is not about a war, this is a wonderful book to devour.
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I felt like I was living in Denver in 1918 while I was listening to this book on tape!  Sandra Dallas did an impeccable job of researching the town and the time period.  The parallels between the Spanish Flu and Covid 19 pandemic were very interesting.  
Helen and Lutie are sisters who are navigating life in America while there is a war going on in Europe.  There weren’t many opportunities for women during this time.  Women had jobs, but were expected to quit and raise a family when they got married.  Both sisters have steady boyfriends, but of course there are challenges along the way.  I liked the character of Lutie, but I can't a grown woman could be so ignorant about so many things.
This book focuses on thinking about others' needs before your own.  If you like books about people facing hardships, this book is for you. The narrator’s voice was overall pleasant to listen to. 
I want to thank the author, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of the audio book. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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I really enjoyed Little Souls, but I felt like it was five stories in one. The cast of character was rich and well written. I could picture them and got a feel for who they were. There were just so many things happening. 
Is this a war story? A pandemic story? A family story? A murder story? The answer is yes to all of those things. 
I kept picturing it like a tv show and each few chapter could have been a whole new season. So many things happened to Lutie that it was almost unbelievable. It didn't let you sit with the joys and tragedies for very long. It was an enjoyable story though and I might recommend it for someone interested.
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Historical Novels Review, May 2022:

In the winter dusk as Lutie walks home from work, a dying man lies on the ground, another victim of the influenza which has its grip on Denver in 1918.  Handkerchiefs cover noses as passersby hurry on their way, knowing that nothing can be done without putting their own lives at risk.  The circling death wagons will eventually pick up the body.  A shaken Lutie arrives home to find the house in disarray and another dead man on the kitchen floor.  Her sister, Helen, is holding a bloody ice pick while little Dorothy stands by.

Lutie and Helen had moved to Denver after the death of their parents to start a new life.  They bought a house, renting out their basement to the Streeter family.  Mr. Streeter was a violent man toward his wife and daughter, Dorothy. The sisters took in Dorothy when her father disappeared and her mother died of influenza.  Mr. Streeter has reappeared and now lies dead on the floor.  As women, self-defense isn’t a justification, but with so many bodies left outside, could he be mistaken as victim of influenza?  “Little Souls” is an ancient reference to the downtrodden and oppressed. Dallas shows how women and children are treated in early 20th-century society and not given a voice or legal recourse against offences.  This is a tender novel of love, loss, and family support, but it cuts deep with injustices committed against “Little Souls.”

Sandra Dallas is a Denver author who has written numerous historical novels, many based in Colorado.  In Little Souls, she brings early 20th-century Denver landmarks into the story, places that remain in my memory of the 1960s.  Her depictions of the influenza pandemic ring true to us today.  She has again given her readers a wonderful story with strong women facing deep wrongs and finding redemption and love.
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Between World War I casualties and the Spanish flu, many families were grieving the loss of loved ones in the latest historical novel from Sandra Dallas. It was interesting to learn that the author had actually written this story prior to our current pandemic. After reading so many books set during WWII, I found it a welcome change to read one from the WWI era. The author created characters and a storyline that I won't soon forget. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the advance copy to read and review.
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  As we slowly emerge from the COVID pandemic to COVID endemic, this book is a stark reminder that we have been here before and we will be here again.  Such is the way of the world.  Set in Denver amid both WWI and The Spanish Flu.  Lest you not recall both events decimated the young adults of the world.

Sisters Helen and Lutie have moved there after the death of their mother.  Helen is a nurse and Lutie is an artist who does advertising for a posh department store.  They have tenants, a family of three.  The father is a brute and when he abandons his wife and child, they are all relieved.  After the mother dies, the sisters take Dorothy in as she is, as they describe her, a little soul.  It is when the father returns that things turn very nasty and the true depth of his deprivation comes to light.

Both the war and the flu take their deadly toll and tragedy upon tragedy ensues.  In spite of it all, or perhaps because of it, Lutie is more determined than ever to keep Dorothy safe and out of grasping and evil hands.  I don’t want to give away too much of the plot because it is so poignant and moving.  I was swept away by the story and the courage and tenacity of the main characters.  There were heartbreaking moments but there was also great hope.  I was moved deeply.

Five purrs and two paws up.
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Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s press for the free digital copy in exchange for my honest review.  

Little Souls by Sandra Dallas is a timely story about family, love and loss. 

It’s been quite a while since I stayed up through the night to finish a book, but I could not put this one down. 


Set in Denver, Colorado in 1918 during WWI and the Spanish Influenza Pandemic, Little Souls is the story of two sisters, Helen and Lutie. Written from Lutie’s perspective , it tells the story of the bond sisters share and how much they will sacrifice for  each other.
  
I loved this book. It is well written and the characters are real. I cried and openly laughed while reading it and the characters touched my heart. Although it’s historical fiction and takes place 104 years ago, it easily relates to current events.  

TW: domestic violence, rape, incest, child abuse
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Knowing a book is set in a pandemic while you yourself are trying to recover from covid is leap to begin turning pages.  I am glad I picked it up and did.  This is my first ever Sandra Dallas book. I do love a good historical fiction laced with details from the past to connect us all.  Dallas does this exquisitely.

This novel is a look at how the pandemic affected the lives of the people. It's about sisters and family - not just family by blood but family made up of the people you care about. The two sisters are very well written - their struggle to keep their family afloat and the attitudes toward women in the workplace present a picture of life at that time. Both sisters are brave and resilient and sacrificed for the people in their lives.

Ultimately, this is a story about moving beyond one’s grief, loyalty and dedication, about putting others’ needs ahead of your own. In todays world, if you feel you have just one family member you can count on, this often changes the course of your life. So, while this is a sad and upsetting story, it is also an uplifting one.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Sandra Dallas and St.. Martins Press for this ARC. Little Souls gave me a glimpse into the past and an appreciation for not only growth in our medical community with todays pandemic, but the appreciation for those who step up and care..
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Little Souls was the first book I have read by Sandra Dallas and I’m now interested in exploring her backlist. This book dealt with some pretty tough topics so read other reviews for trigger warnings if necessary. Though a lot of pretty terrible things happened to the characters throughout the book, it was also a moving story of carrying on when life gets you down, especially when circumstances seem out of one’s control. The characters were lovely (most of them!) and I was genuinely curious about how their lives would turn out. The ending was beautiful and I was left feeling satisfied. 4.5 stars rounded up, highly recommend!

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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<i>Little souls?

...It means the poor, the hopeless, the common people nobody ever notices. In truth, it applies to all of us. We are all lost little souls in our own way.</i>

The year is 1918 and, while WWI continues to rage in Europe, a new deadly influenza called the Spanish flu is raginging across the country. Lutie and Helen are sisters living in Denver, Colorado. Lutie draws advertisements for a local upscale clothing store and Helen is a nurse. They own their own home but rent out the basement to a young family. The father is a drunkard and likely very much worse judging from the bruises on Maud, his wife, but the sisters have grown fond of her and even more so, ten-year-old Dorothy. When he disappears and Maud dies of the flu, the sisters are determined to adopt Dorothy,  

Little Souls by Sandra Dallas is a compelling historical fiction and Dallas has clearly done extensive research on the period. She not only gives an accurate picture of the flu and its symptoms but its effects on society, many of them similar to today’s reactions to Covid - the efforts to downplay its devastation and the toll it took on doctors and nurses. Dallas also looks at the limited roles that were available to women and the dialogue is peppered with slang from the time. 

The story opens with Lutie’s  encounter with a soldier dying on the street from the flu surrounded by a crowd who refuse to touch him and this is followed by a murder but that is only a small part of the story. Most of all, it is about family, loyalty, love, overcoming trauma and, in the end, hope. 

Little Souls is a well-written well-researched historical fiction that pulled me into the story from the first page and kept me engaged throughout. I recommend it highly with this caveat - it deals with issues some may find triggering including rape, incest, and the physical and sexual abuse of a child.

<i>Thanks to Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review</i>
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Little Souls really touched my soul.  I so loved the term “little souls” explanation, from some Roman emperor, - “the poor, the hopeless, the common people nobody even notices.”  Based in Denver during the Spanish Flu in 1918, definitely drew parallels to our lives today but I feel so blessed to dealing with Covid instead of that horrendous flu.  Lucretia (Lutie) and her sister, Helen have lost their parents to the flu and moved to Denver to start new lives.  The horrors of the flu, as well as the war, drastically change their lives.  I fell in love with both sisters as they came alive within the pages of this emotional gem.  Sandra Dallas includes some very serious topics and brings them to the forefront in the storyline, which made me wish that that was the case in 1918.
The depiction of life in Denver during this time frame was heartbreaking.  The strength and resilience of people was amazing…and certainly put worrying about toilet paper in perspective.  
Sandra Dallas I admire your ability to write a story that makes people feel and realize how lucky they truly are, and perhaps be more kind to the little souls” they encounter in their own daily lives.
Many many thanks to Sandra Dallas, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to read an arc of this just published gem.
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I enjoyed this book, but it was definitely slower than I wanted it to be. It took awhile for me to get into it. A story about sisters, their strength and the things that they will do to protect those they love. It takes place during the Spanish Flu Pandemic - and WWI, in Denver, CO. Although I found some of the story to be a little far-fetched and ridiculous, it did not detract from my enjoyment. I liked how strong the main characters were - during a time when women were not considered to be strong. 

Thank you netgalley for my advanced reader copy!
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Little Souls is set in Denver, Colorado during WWI and the Spanish Flu pandemic.  It follows Lutie, a "career girl" with a big heart.  There are many parallels to the current pandemic as well as other triggering topics, so be sure to look up content warnings if needed.  This historical fiction novel is full of love and death, sisters and found family, crime and mystery.  It has a little bit of everything.  My main criticism is that although it was a quick and entertaining story, it was quite predictable.  Thank you @netgalley and @stmartinspress for this gifted digital copy.  Little Souls came out yesterday so be sure to grab a copy!
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📚📚BOOK REVIEW 📚📚

Sandra Dallas’s Little Souls released yesterday (4/26). Thank you the author, NetGalley, and St. Martin’s Press for the arc.

Synopsis:
Sandra Dallas's Little Souls is a gripping tale of sisterhood, loyalty, and secrets set in Denver amid America’s last deadly flu pandemic.

Review: Dallas’s novel is set in 1918 Denver Colorado amidst the Spanish flu epidemic. This novel’s timely release as we are continuing to reel from the COVID-19 pandemic made this novel a difficult, but poignant read. Often we hear narratives of World War II, but there are not a lot of novels that focus on the repercussions of WWI and it’s impact in the United States and other countries. Set in Denver, we learn the story of two sisters - Helen and Lutie. While Helen is a nurse, Lutie works at an advertising designer. However, things turn for the worst when one day Lutie walks in and finds her sister, Helen, standing over a corpse, which changes the trajectory of the novel. Both sisters then decide to leave it on the streets disguising it as a flu victim. And, the twists and turns continue to follow.

The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed us as social and emotional beings. While I was excited to read this novel, I still feel like we are dealing with the consequences of the pandemic, and feel it daily in different ways. Although historical, this was a difficult read due to its subject, but I am happy I did, and I do recommend it to those who love historical fiction and contemporary literature.
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Sisters Helen and Lutie have a comfortable life in Denver when the city is ravaged by the 1918 flu epidemic. Helen is a nurse, dating a doctor, while Lutie works at a department store and has a new beau, who is studying to become a minister. But when their downstairs tenant dies, the sisters find themselves responsible for her troubled young daughter, Dorothy. Unfortunately, Helen knows all too well how scarred Dorothy is from her abusive father. As one tragedy after another befalls them, Helen and Lutie draw deeply on their strength and the strength of their  relationship. 

This period of history is all too relevant to today's readers. The setting is a welcome change from many historical novels. Helen and Lutie are engaging, very likable characters. I loved the story and the book. #LittleSouls #NetGalley
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Little Souls is an amazing book, but you must be prepared for it delves into many issues we are dealing with today, and they are not pretty.
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This book gave me a deja vu kind of feeling.  Little Souls focuses on the lives of two sisters who are surviving on their own in Denver, Colorado in 1918.  Similar to what we just experienced with COVID, the world was in the throes of the Spanish Flu pandemic with the added turmoil of WWI causing distress and fear.  

Lutie works in the advertising department of a store and Helen is a dedicated nurse. With money left to them after their parents' deaths, the girls bought a home and rent the basement to a small family to help make ends meet. Unfortunately the father has a drinking problem and his issues cause a lot of trauma to his wife and young daughter Dorothy.  

While sometimes sad, I really appreciated the realistic approach the author took through the entire book. This definitely is not a sunshine and rainbows story!  Instead, Little Souls takes you into the tragedy of those years in history and helps you understand them through the characters in the story.  There are some extremely tragic and morbid parts in this book, especially in regards to the Spanish Flu victims. There are also cases of sexual abuse that are shocking but I feel add so much depth to this emotional book.

This is a very touching story about bravery and loss during the tumultuous years of WWI and the Spanish Flu.   Even though it was often a sad story, the hope and love of the little souls shone through.  The story definitely surprised me in certain scenes because the author didn't write what I expected- which kept me invested.  

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's press for the ARC of this book!  I am posting this review to my Bookstagram page and on Amazon amd Goodreads.
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3.5 stars (first quarter: **, rest of the book: ****)

The first chapter jumped right in to the story and ended with Lute finding her sister standing over a murdered man. It grabbed my attention immediately. But then, starting with the next chapter, the rest of the first quarter of the book was Lute telling us her backstory, developing the characters and relationships. I thought most of it was unnecessary. The past probably could have been condensed and summarized much quicker. Once we got back to the present at chapter seven, the story picked back up and got interesting again.

I thought the last 3/4 of the story was very good and interesting. Parts were predictable, but there were some developments that I didn’t see coming. 

Trigger warnings: This is a rather depressing, heavy, serious novel, and contained many atrocities towards a child.

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for this digital arc in exchange for my honest review.

#NetGalley #LittleSouls
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This story will shock you and console you with every turn of the page! An original story that plumbs the depths of a person’s determination to survive. Two Sisters, an epidemic, and only one way to make it through to the other side. What lengths you’ll go to under such stress, a person will never know, but these sisters, Helen and Lutie prove that by sticking together they can overcome ANYTHING!
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