Cover Image: Little Souls

Little Souls

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Member Reviews

Little Souls is set when the Spanish Flu is rampant in Denver. It is interesting to read about an earlier pandemic when you personally lived through one. They had many of the solutions we used in 2020. Thank goodness we, in the U.S., were not leaving bodies on the side of the road to be picked and buried the next day.

Little Souls is a story of sisterhood, hardships, love, secrets, and living through a World War. The story was lovely. Lots of tragedy hits the families in this story but it is not a depressing book. They fight and do what is necessary to get through. This is a book with hope and family.

A couple of trigger warnings in this book. It does discuss rape and pedophiles. A few times in the book they go off on a Christian religious kick. I am not sure if this is in the religion genera. The religion is not that big of deal. It is in the book a few times but it is not one of the books where the people are being chased by a serial killer and they stop and pray about it. Those books are annoying and will lose stars for that behavior.

I enjoyed Little Souls and would recommend it. It is a pretty quick read for spring/summer next year. The publish date is April 26, 2022. I would like to thank #NetGalley for an advanced copy. I wish the best of luck to #SandraDallas for a successful book. #LittleSouls

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"Little Souls"--what a great term to discover in this historical novel set during the Spanish flu pandemic. i want to borrow the phrase for use in my Women's History classes as a moniker for the plight of girls and women when times was hard and they had little to no governance over their lives. Sandra Dallas" work embraces the reality of life for women in the early 20th century, even for women who had some control over their lives. The story, centered on the lives of two sisters and the wayward orphan they take in, tracks the social economic, legal, and personal tribulations faced by many women at that time. While it is the era of the "New Woman" and the opening of new careers for them, women were still often trapped by the circumstances of their lives. Grueling poverty, abuse, jobs with no future, and secondary status when it comes to rights, women struggled and often found their paths blocked by a patriarchal social framework that embraced systemic sexism.

The two sisters, Helen and Lutie, create a safe haven for themselves in Denver. Using the money they inherited from their deceased parents, they buy a home with a rental apartment, providing themselves with economic freedom few women had. Most women at that time were dependent on the men in their lives for financial stability and a home. Both women work long hours at their jobs, Helen, a nurse, is fighting on the front lines of the Spanish influenza outbreak. Her dedication to her profession and patients places a heavy burden on her. Lutie, a clerk, faces the reality of pink ghetto jobs for women. Her ability to earn a living and provide for herself is blocked by the reality of a barely sustainable wage, a job with no upward mobility, and a limited future.

Real life interferes with both sisters' lives as the Great War and the epidemic sweep through their world, creating upheaval and heartache. The untimely death of their renter catapults the sisters into a moral and ethical dilemma. Taking in the orphaned daughter Dorothy, Helen and Lutie find themselves struggling with their decision as events spin out of their control The two sisters find themselves facing a world that is unkind, unfair, and often cruel to women.

Of course, as in most historical novels about women, it wouldn't be complete without romantic twists and foibles. What would we do without good men coming to the rescue? The novel does have the tragic tale of lost love and a knight in shining armor. While the sisters struggle in a very patriarchal world, there are men who defy the odds and provide a means of salvation from their woes. Their attempts to save the "Little Souls" in their own lives ironically make them "Little Souls" themselves. But even with this traditional romantic swing to the story, it is still worth a good read. The characters are very likable and the reader becomes enmeshed in their lives.. You find yourself rooting for them as reality of the war, the pandemic, and an unspeakable crime darkens their lives.

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A story of struggle and survival set during World War I, two sisters take on care of a little girl from a dysfunctional family. Meet Helen the nurse, Lucretia an artist and Dorothy the young girl they are trying to help. Add the Spanish Influenza on top of all the daily struggles. I really enjoyed most of the characters, the story line and the surprises all throughout. A great look back in history and love relationships. Very well done, Sandra Dallas! Look forward to reading other books by Sandra. Thanks Net Galley for this ARC.

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Sandra Dallas never disappoints. I love her novels. There is so much feeling written in every word. This story takes place in the city of Denver at the time of WWI & the Spanish Flu. It is about two sisters, one a nurse and the younger one who is an artist/designer, The sisters have their lives turned upside down when they become involved with their renters who are renting out their basement. This truly enhances the story. There is love, hero's, war and death. This is a story of strength among women.

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A look at life in 1918 during America’s last deadly flu epidemic, Little Souls is all too familiar to our life currently in America. Had the book been written pre-pandemic, there would likely be little interest, but reading it post-Covid, there is a greater understanding of the setting and emotion portrayed in the book. Little Souls has love, heartbreak, murder, kidnapping, mystery, death and life - an all encompassing look at life, then and now.

Thank you to NetGalley & St. Martin’s Press for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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I had honestly not read a book about the Spanish flu in 1918 before this and it was quite eye-opening to me. I thought there were many similarities between the outbreak of the Spanish flu and these recent days of our COVID-19 pandemic. Even though I know this was a work of fiction, I felt that the facts about the Spanish flu and the aftermath are factual.

This story follows two sisters, Helen (a nurse) and Lutie (an advertising designer) who move from Ohio to Colorado after the death of both their parents. After purchasing a home, they decide to rent their basement apartment to a small family with a little girl named Dorothy. After the family has rented from them for a short time, they realize that Dorothy‘s father is physically abusive to his wife and spends all his money on drinking bootleg liquor with and associating with a shady group of people. Helen decides to kick him out one day and tells him not to return. Sadly, Dorothy‘s mother succumbs to the Spanish flu soon after, leaving Helen and Lutie with the decision whether to keep Dorothy as their “sister” or give her up to a local orphanage, since there is no family to speak of.

Helen and Lutie quickly decide that it would be best to have Dorothy live with them and tell anyone that asks that she is their sister. As more and more people are dying from the Spanish flu, Helen and her beau (a doctor) work nonstop with very little sleep or rest, trying to care for flu victims. People who die at home are being left in the street by family members with a note on their bodies, saying they were victims of the Spanish flu. They’ve heard that wagons will come around and pick up the bodies and take them somewhere for burial.

It’s during this time that Lutie comes home from work one day to find Helen standing in the kitchen, leaning over the dead body of Dorothy‘s father, with an ice pick in her hand. Unsure whether anyone will believe that it was an act of self-defense, they decide to put his body in the street with a note saying he died from the flu, hoping no one will look closely to see that he had actually died from a stab wound. They instruct Dorothy to lie if anyone asks about her father being at their house, to avoid suspicion.

Helen and Lutie breathe a sigh of relief when they see that the body has been picked up off the street with other flu victims. Soon after, though, they get a visit from the police, who are not convinced that they weren’t somehow involved in Dorothy’s father’s death. As the story unfolds, more horrifying family secrets are discovered and Helen and Lutie are desperate to keep Dorothy safe.

Thankfully, the mother of Lutie’s fiance, who is wealthy, steps in to help them. She not only cares for and hides Dorothy, she treats her like she would her own granddaughter. She also decides to help Helen and Lutie financially when they realize they are in serious legal trouble.
I was truly on the edge of my seat for the last half of this book, as more of Dorothy’s family’s ugly family secrets were revealed and the need to protect her at all costs intensifies.

Thank you for the opportunity to read a copy of this fantastic book! I give it five stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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I had really hoped to like this book more than I actually did; the premise is super interesting and seemed relevant to Our Current Moment. What I found, though, was overwrought prose, a self-obsessed heroine who I'm supposed to like, and a plot that could be taught to exemplify Deus Ex Machina to my students. I read it in a day and got so mad at the epilogue I almost threw my Kindle across the room. With a strong editor, this book could have been excellent. On its

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It is 1918, WWI is in full swing and the world is being ravaged by the Spanish Flu, and sisters, Lutie and Helen are living together in a house in Denver. One evening Lutie comes home from work and discovers her sister standing over the body of their tenant, Mr. Streeter, with an ice pick in her hand. Helen killed him to protect, Dorothy, his daughter. They hide Mr. Streeter's body among flu victims, hoping to hide his true cause of death and go on with their lives, with Dorothy now as their sister. But soon some detectives come looking around and Dorothy's life with them might be in jeopardy.
This is a story of the bond of sisters, by blood and circumstance. In a time in history that was difficult for many, Lutie, Helen and Dorothy experience many heartbreaks. But through it all, they have each other and their new sister, Dorothy. A book filled with the themes of perseverance, fortitude, right and wrong, and love. At times the book felt a little like a travel log, with periods of time being skipped over quickly, but the important scenes are well written and emotional. I enjoyed the book overall.

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Little Souls takes place in Denver during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. It’s the story of Lutie (Lucretia) and her sister, Helen. While it is the story of war, tragedy, suffering, loss, and death, it is also the story of love.

I thought the writing was smooth and very easy to read, but I thought the characters lacked realism and depth and were a bit stereotypical. The predictable ending wrapped up the story adequately.

Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Little Souls.

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I enjoyed Little Souls a great deal. The story takes place during the War, and during the Influenza pandemic. While I wasn't shocked at anything in the story, it was likeable, and the situation that Dorothy was in was appalling. Helen and Lute were solid, moral women with a lot on their shoulders who still let emotion and kindness win out.

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Little Souls is a page turner that keeps you up past your bedtime! This book makes a great summer vacation read or any time you need a story to take you away from the daily grind. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end.

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My thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review this book .

This is the story of the Lite sisters, Helen,a nurse, Lucretia, an artist, their respective partners, Gil and Peter, and Dorothy, a traumatized orphan, all set in 1918 during the Spanish Influenza. The characters face death, incest rape,love , marriage, kidnapping, and adoption.

I felt this book was very relevant in the times we are living now. This story held my interest, made me care and root for the characters. Story is well written and executed. Highly recommend!

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Despite a storyline that included incest, murder, dead people stacked like cordwood along the street, domestic violence, rape and prostitution, "Little Souls" seemed a little "innocent" to me.

Sandra Dallas wrote a very straightforward story focused primarily upon one young woman who endures a self-described nightmare during the waning days of The Great War and the onslaught of what was dubbed the Spanish influenza (Fun fact: Apparently, the virus perhaps started in Kansas and was spread by soldiers off to war).

What happens to Lute, her sister, a little girl orphan they've taken in and the sisters' beaus lacked the drama and urgency readers might have expected. After all, the book is filled with death; that should have packed an emotional punch. Unfortunately, Sandra Dallas did a perfectly fine job of writing this novel, but it lacked some of the heart she usually imbues into her stories.

#NetGalley #LittleSouls

Review also appears on GirlsFacebook and on Facebook groups The Review Crew; Books, Brews & Bibliophiles Too; 52 Books and The Book Club

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Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book is for anyone that loves a Sandra Dallas novel. Like her other books, it tells a story of women, love, family, loss and mercy. This book is particularly interesting because it was written during the time of the Spanish flu and World War I. It was a time when women didn’t have careers and mainly became housewives. These two sisters were different. One was a nurse and the other an illustrator for a department store. This novel tells their story. It is well written and a quick read.

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Thank you Net Galley for the free ARC. Set during the Spanish flu epidemic, a tale about a murder and custody battle. I did not particularly care for the characters. I usually feel a much tighter bonds to Dallas's books.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC to review!
Rating (on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being excellent)
Quality of writing: 5
Pace: 5
Plot development: 5
Characters: 5
Enjoyability: 5
Ease of Reading: 5

Overall rating: 5 out of 5

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A good read that has relevance today as the COVID pandemic sees our way of living changing . This book shows how the Spanish influenza of 1918 brought much suffering to healthcare, the economy , and the general population as it struggled with this illness . Many of the same issues of today. This book also dealt with sexual abuse and the long term consequences that it’s victims suffer. The deep bond of sisters was also written eloquently and honestly . Little Souls has a bit of everything murder, war , love in various relationships, surviving and moving on despite great loss and suffering.

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A story with characters who blaze a trail through a frontier of emotions and dream about clowns.

The narrator, Lutie Hite, tells a story about a journey through the few months of the story’s timeline, what she called her “long nightmare.” The story began in October, 1918 in the city was Denver, Colorado. The Spanish Influenza was raging, but there was a parade for the soldiers in France. Otherwise, it was a normal day for Lutie at work, including, as she traveled home on the streetcar, a man who stared openly at her legs when her skirt hiked up while she descended the streetcar’s stairs. And then she arrived home to find her sister, Helen, kneeling over a man’s body, a bloody ice pick in her hand.

Little Souls includes, in addition to the time when the plot occurs, earlier periods when Lutie and Helen were children growing up in Cedar Falls, Iowa and a later period when a third generation is added to the character list, both of which add veracity to the plot. The story is much more than a snapshot of several months in Lutie’s life. The plot is an amalgam of many events with which the characters must cope: the death of parents, children, siblings and loved ones, and the survival of desperate circumstances that have a lifelong effect. Sandra Dallas brilliantly depicts through Lutie’s eyes both joy and sorrow, as well as bleakness and hope. The war and the flu are only a backdrop for a sensitive rendition of the suffering that occurred during a desperate time and the inner strength that propelled the novel’s characters to surmount the adversities they faced. War and pestilence don’t keep away villains. Crimes happen.

Lutie’s life was one of hard choices. She was not alone. The other characters struggled as well, facing the heartbreak of the death of a mother or a son, and the robbery of innocence. Three little souls in the story triumph over heinous crimes, each in her own way. Sandra Dallas brings the people and their struggles to life in a credible manner. There are no superhuman feats, and around every corner that the story turns the reader is as likely to find catastrophe as good fortune. Some characters are philosophical about the cards they are dealt. Some are religious. But Sandra Dallas takes no sides, and never preaches. She only applauds the fight against adversity her characters demonstrate, no matter how they find their strength. Her words are beautifully written and her episodes are comfortably strung together. Little Souls is a magnificent story that readers will carry in their hearts for years after putting down the book.

NOTE: The manuscript reviewed is an Uncorrected Digital Galley. The novel isn’t scheduled for publication until April 2022. This review is only posted on NetGalley and my website until publication, and references in the review to particular circumstances and phrases may be changed before publication.

Mark Zvonkovic, Reviewer and Author
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Sandra Dallas is one of my go to authors and she did not disappoint with this timely story of the 1918 Spanish flu. As we are currently experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic it is unfortunately easy to relate to the suffering and hardships these people endured. We follow Helen and Lutie, two sisters with a strong bond who take in a young girl Dorothy and make her part of their family. The author showcases the love as well as the pain during this time period as relationships are formed and lost due to the deadly epidemic. Well done as always by this talented author as she once again enables us to visualize a part of history. #LittleSouls #SandraDallas #NetGalley

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Little Souls was a fast and interesting read. The setting is Denver. Colorado, World War 1 and the Spanish Flu. Two sisters have moved to Colorado and are making a new life after their parents death. They have a rental apartment in their home that they have rented to a couple with a child. The flu takes the mother of the child and the father is very abusive to the child. The two sisters take the child under their wing and so much happens. The sister Helen is a nurse and is exhausted from taking care of all the sick and dying. She is engaged to a doctor. The other sister Lutie works as an artist drawing advertisements for a store. She is engaged to a minister from a wealthy family. A man is stabbed to death and all of their lives change forever.
I really liked this book and will look into other books that she has written. I highly recommend this one!

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