Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of Little Souls by Sandra Dallas. I was captivated by the story of Lutie, Helen, Dorothy, Gil and Peter and their lives in Denver during the Spanish Flu.

The characters were well written and believable. I found myself rooting for Lutie and Helen. It was easy to compare the situation to today's pandemic, especially hearing the government trying to keep people "happy" even in the face of so many deaths.

And with WWI raging in Europe and asking Americans to do their part and be patriotic and buy war bonds was an excellent side story. It all worked very well together.

I think it could use a little tightening in spots - some of the dialogue felt a bit stiff but all in all this was very enjoyable.

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When I started reading and saw that the influenza pandemic of the WWI era was a major part of this book, I was concerned that I wouldn't like it for that reason. However, it was interesting to learn about it and see some of the parallels. It was certainly not the focal point of the story. Love, self-sacrifice, and the meaning of family are much more important.

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I received an ARC of LITTLE SOULS by Sandra Dallas. In this timely novel set during the Spanish influenza pandemic, two sisters struggle to protect a young orphan girl left in their care. Lutie, Helen and Dorothy face many tragedies as war and disease devastate their lives. Will their strength, intelligence and compassion be enough to help them survive? Sandra Dallas writes strong women characters, who face realistic challenges in a too often cruel world. This novel will have you crying and cheering as you read their poignant story. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Sandra Dallas's Little Souls is set in 1918's Colorado during World War I and the Spanish Flu epidemic. We follow the story of Lutie and her older sister Helen, as they grip with a dark secret involving their downstairs neighbor and his abuse of his daughter. As they navigate the flu outbreak and Helen's work as a nurse during the outbreak, and the grief of losing a lover, they find a cause in their neighbor's daughter, Dorothy. Dorothy is recently orphaned and the sisters must fight to keep her safe from bad actors in the family, while uncovering the depths of her trauma.

This book is truly touching. It is the love that Dallas's characters all have for each other that keeps them going despite things going wrong at every turn. Little Souls is the kind of book that pulls you in and holds you while you embark on a journey you will never forget.

Thank you to NetGalley, Sandra Dallas, and St. Martin's Press for the ARC to review. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Im sure im not the only one who has said something similar in there reviews as i am saying now but wow, this was a beautiful, heartbreaking story filled with hope and bravery.

My favourite genre is historical fiction and so I was very excited to read Little Souls as there isnt many stories about the spanish influenza. Great timing too as were in a pandemic now.

I couldnt put it down. Such a great story and I found that this is a very well researched and beautifully written novel. Definitely recommend

Thank you to netgalley and st. Martins press.

All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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I flipping LOVED this book! While a bit on the predictable side - it was so well written, I didn't care. I CARED about the characters, loved that the author didn't shy away from doing what she needed to do to important characters, and generally told a darn fine story of a damn hard time in our nations history. Brava!

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I adore every novel Sandra Dallas has written. Her talent for developing strong female characters and put them in historical settings. When I found out this novel focused on the 1918 pandemic, I knew I was going to be in for an emotional journey.

Sisters Helen and Lutie moved to Denver after the death of their parents in Ohio. Helen is a nurse while Lutie draws advertisements for a Denver department store. Helen meets a doctor, Gil. while Lutie’s boyfriend, Peter, is studying to be a minister. Lutie questions whether she loves Peter when he decides to enlist to do his part. Lutie agrees to his proposal but as the war begins to wrap up in Europe, a pandemic spreads across the states. Gil and Helen struggle to save lives, but fail saving the life of their renter, leaving her daughter, Dorothy, an orphan. The sisters take her in and the bond they form helps them survive through such a difficult time.

Sandra Dallas is wonderful about creating likable but resilient characters and putting them into difficult situations that are timely, regardless of the era the events take place in. While there were some difficult moments to read, the ugliest is balanced out by the bond between Helen and Lutie, which is real and heartfelt. The author’s sense of the culture and the slang of the time really put the reader into the moment. But there are moments—such as people refusing to mask up—that make me feel as if I am back in 2021.

Thank you the Sandra Dallas, NetGalley and the St. Martin for the eARC of this novel.

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I’ve been reading books by Sandra Dallas since The Persian Pickle Club, and I always enjoy her style of writing. This one was a bit harder of a read for me – I don’t know if it was just that I am burnt out living through our own modern-day pandemic or if my expectations were just too high. However, while this one wasn’t necessarily one of my favorites ever by this author, I still really enjoyed reading it. (But really, if you haven’t read The Persian Pickle Club yet, what are you waiting for?)

Set during WWI and with the Spanish Flu terrorizing people throughout the United States, two sisters – Helen and Lutie – move to Denver after their parents’ deaths. There, they take in basement lodgers to help pay for their house, which is fine until Lutie comes home from work one to find Helen standing over the dead body of the horribly abusive husband and father of one of them with a bloody ice pick in her hand. Not only do Helen and Lutie have to contend with the war abroad and avoiding the Spanish Flu, but they also have to protect this man’s daughter from being sent to an even worse situation while hoping no one prosecutes them for murder.

The topics in this book are particularly heavy. While this isn’t necessarily surprising in this author’s writing, I don’t remember having so many awful subjects piled on top of each other – child abuse, rape, murder, spousal abuse. While none of it is graphic, it definitely piles on, especially when paired with the backdrop of a world war and a pandemic killing hundreds of people.

Even so, the author does a great job creating each one of these characters, and I especially liked Helen and Lutie. I really liked how Helen – the older sister and nurse – is so much more worldly and knowledgeable about the “real world” compared to her younger, more sheltered sister. When I was reading it, it was all so obvious to me as a modern reader, I had to keep reminding myself that these characters are living in a completely different time where two sisters inheriting from their parents and buying a house without a man could have been considered scandalous and uncommon. And even though this might not have been my favorite Sandra Dallas book of all time, I still didn’t want to put it down and stayed up too late more than one evening to find out what would happen them.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. It has not influenced my opinion.

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Two sisters living together in Colorado during the small pox epidemic. They take on a young girl whose mother has died of small pox. The dad, who has abused the young girl , is found dead in the sisters kitchen. The police become involved and an uncle comes to take the girl away. During the fight to keep the girl, one of the sisters dies of small pox. The other sister is left alone to deal with it all. I enjoyed the book but I would not buy it for a hight school library. It would be great for a public library.

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I love Sandra Dallas’ writing and this book couldn’t be more timely. Her stories of living through the Spanish influenza pandemic are so in tune with the COVID mess of the past two years, it felt like it was a contemporary tale. I recommend this to anyone who likes a good read.

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This is a historical fiction novel that takes place during the time of the Spanish Flu. I loved that it took place in the Midwest- and not in a big city like Chicago, or New York. If gave perspective of what life might have been like going from Denver to Iowa. It intertwines the lives of two sisters and how they carry on after the death of their parents, and life in a pandemic during WWI. The author made these characters real, and you got to see that love and life at real, and raw. And that people will do anything for those that they love.

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Thank you NetGalley, Sandra Dallas and St. Martin's Press for the book Little Souls. This is my personal review.
This is a historical book set in Denver during the Spanish Influenza epidemic. It centers on two sisters Lutie and Helen. They are so different Helen is a nurse and Lutie is an artist.
It was a hard book to read for me because of the world we are all living in and yet at the same time it was comforting to read the way the sisters handled what they were going through. There is everything you can imagine written into the story and it all fits perfectly together with nothing over taking the story just melding together.
The publish date is April 26, 2022, and a good one to preorder.

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Little Souls is a fictional tale about two sisters living through the worst of the Spanish Influenza pandemic in 1918. As a result of the significant loss of life to the pandemic, they take in an 11 year old child whose mother died and whose father was physically and sexually abusive. When the father is found dead, the story is set in motion.

I was not particularly fond of this book. I found that the author attempted to do too much, address the flu pandemic, treatment of orphans, impact of abuse, impact of World War 1, grief on many levels. The end result is that I had a hard time feeling any emotional connection to any of the characters and felt there were many questionable parts of the book.

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The premise of this book was intriguing but overall, it felt a little flat for me. I loved the time period and historical events -- WW1 and the Spanish Influenza -- and loved that the setting was in Denver which isn’t common. I also appreciated the slang from the time period and descriptions of the lives of the two sisters as “career girls”. It felt like the drama and sad events were just put in one after the other to evoke an emotional connection but it didn’t quite work for me. There is one revelation near the end of the book of past trauma that didn’t feel authentic to the character or especially necessary to the story line. Then the epilogue was suddenly upbeat and we learn everything after the story that we followed worked out for the best. This was a fast read and I never wanted to stop without finishing, just felt a little empty when it was over. I give this book 3 stars out of 5. Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for the advanced copy to read and review; all opinions are my own.

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I really liked this book. So many themes are brought up, like family bonds, what makes a family, child abuse, loss, love, etc. it was interesting reading about the Spanish flu and comparing their situation to ours. So many similarities. I especially loved the epilogue. It was the perfect way to end the book.

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Because this novel deal with two major tragedies of the early twentieth century - WWI and the Spanish Influenza pandemic, the story could have been hopelessly depressing. However, the author does not allow sorrow to take over the book, and the overwhelming message of this story is the power of love and how simple compassion can change things. The main characters in this story were full of goodness, and their responses to tragedy carried a message of hope through the darkest points of the plot. I read through this book very quickly, and recommend it for anyone looking for a good historical fiction read.

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I really enjoyed this story. Definitely very timely with Covid -19 pandemic. It deals with some heavy hitting subjects with a subtlety I particularly liked. It was well done.

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Thanks Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. Set during the first World War and the Flu pandemic, the story was eerily familiar . The characters were well thought out and I felt I could know them in real life. The story kept me enthralled throughout. Thank you Ms Dallas for your insightful and interesting book.

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Welcome to Denver, Co, 1918 where the Spanish Flu epidemic is raging and death and sickness abounds. We are introduced to sisters Lutie and Helen. Helen, a nurse during this tragic time, Luttie an advertising designer. The sisters relocate to Colorado, buy a multi family home and rent a downstairs apartment to the Streeter family. Both Streeter parents die and the mystery regarding Mr. Streeter’s murder begins. The sisters are determined to protect and shelter 10 year old Dorothy Streeter that is left traumatized by the many events in her life. The story takes several twists and turns as the cast of characters roll in.

Incest, war, murder, rape, sex trafficking and a deadly pandemic are all here for your reading pleasure. Bodies in mass are left in the streets where they dropped waiting to be picked up by a wagon. Extensive research has been done to support the novels historical aspects. The storyline is engaging and entertaining, I would be remiss if I did not add that the story lacked the emotional punch it should have delivered for the devastation and trauma that was cast on the characters, it seemed almost to the point of nonchalance.

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This book about the Spanish Influenza Pandemic during WWI is especially timely right now. I thought that the setting was well established, especially details about the time period. It was nice to read a historical fiction set in a less-common era. The characters were relatable and had depth to them, but I would have enjoyed more insight to their emotions. The book kept me engaged and wasn't too predictable.

I have been a fan of Sandra Dallas since I read Prayers for Sale, and I enjoyed this book just as well.

Thanks to NetGalley, Sandra Dallas, and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest opinions. I will definitely recommend it to others!

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