by Sandra Dallas
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Pub Date 26 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 10 May 2022
Sandra Dallas's Little Souls is a gripping tale of sisterhood, loyalty, and secrets set in Denver amid America’s last deadly flu pandemic.
Colorado, 1918. World War I is raging overseas, but it’s the home front battling for survival. With the Spanish Flu rampant, Denver’s schools are converted into hospitals, churches and funeral homes are closed, and horse-drawn wagons collect corpses left in the street. Sisters Helen and Lutie have moved to Denver from Iowa after their parents’ deaths. Helen, a nurse, and Lutie, a carefree advertising designer at a fashionable women’s store share a small, neat house, and each finds a local beau—for Helen a doctor, for Lutie a young student who soon enlists. They make a modest income from a rental apartment in the basement. When their tenant dies from the flu, the sisters are thrust into caring for the woman’s small daughter, Dorothy. Soon after, Lutie comes home from work and discovers a dead man on their kitchen floor and Helen standing above the body, an icepick in hand. She has no doubt Helen killed the man—Dorothy’s father—in self-defense, but she knows that will be hard to prove. They decide to leave the body in the street, hoping to disguise it as a flu victim.
Meanwhile Lutie also worries about her fiancé “over there.” As it happens, his wealthy mother harbors a secret of her own and helps the sisters as the danger deepens, from both the murder investigation and the outbreak.
Set against the backdrop of an epidemic that feels all too familiar, Little Souls is a compelling tale of sisterhood and of the sacrifices people make to protect those they love most.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 329 members
Plot: 4.5/5 Characters: 4/5 Writing: 4/5
Little Souls takes place in Denver, 1918. The Influenza has hit the population badly, and the men are still away at war. At 19, Lutie Hite is a carefree artist working in advertising for the local department store; her older, more careworn, sister Helen is a nurse. Through an interesting set of events they become responsible for Dorothy, the ten-year old daughter of their now deceased tenant. From these beginnings follows a fairly wild, often heartbreaking, but ultimately heartwarming ride.
I’m a big Sandra Dallas fan. Dallas writes Western historical fiction about strong women making it through adversity with fortitude, intelligence, and the help of their community. She always brings in the small details of life in that particular time and place to make everything ring true.
Her stories tend to the dramatic, but never go over the top and feel quite realistic for their time. She is even-handed about how people thought and behaved at the time — different characters have different opinions on everything from mask-wearing (ha!) to personal morality, and no opinion is presented as obviously better than the others. Religious feeling and participation was a big part of life in that place and time, and I liked how she treated it. While this in no way dominates the book, there were some beautiful passages about how individual characters felt about God that moved me, despite my not being religious myself.
This is a real page-turner — I’m afraid I annoyed my husband by reading on into the night…
I've read every book Sandra Dallas has written, love her books.
Little Souls - from a Roman Emperor: the poor, hopeless, the common noone notices
Applies to all in 1 way or another
Travel to Colorado in 1918:
street cars, Prohibition, "war almost over", Liberty Loan Parade, Spanish Influenza Pandemic...
you will feel you are a part of the times
A girl's life is changed drastically many times.
Descriptions of that pandemic ring true today.
I got wrapped into book and hungrily devoured every word!
Love Sandra Dallas!
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. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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.
I loved this book. Taking place in Colorado in 1918 during the Spanish flu outbreak, many parts of this story hit close to home. It’s a relatable read considering the times we’re living in today. It tells the story of two sisters who are very close, despite their differing personalities and characteristics- one a nurse with a pretty serious temperament and the other a laid back, happy go lucky fashion advertiser. It’s about family, relationships, and the bonds that develop between the family you’re born with and the family you make.
Reminiscent of a Kristin Hannah novel. Would definitely recommend to others and I will be looking for more Sandra Dallas books for sure.
Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and author for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my review.
Lutie and Helen sell their family home in Iowa, pack up their belongings and decide to move to Denver at the beginning of WWI. There,they buy a home near downtown and take in boarders, Maud and Dorothy, as well as Maud’s abusive husband. After Maud dies from influenza and Lutie comes home to find Helen standing over a dead body in the kitchen while she’s holding an ice pick. Did Helen murder someone to protect her little family or is there a darker, more sinister story there?
As Lutie navigates one tragedy or obstacle after another, the reader sees the deep bond she has with a Helen, Dorothy, and Mrs. Howell, Peter’s mother. This book is about the strength of a sisterhood, one of birth and/or circumstance. This book spotlights not one, but several strong female characters. The title of this book comes from Lutie’s fiancée, Peter, who talks about little souls - those less fortunate or in despair. Throughout the story, you will hear people referred to it for the circumstances they are going through. It also refers to each of the main characters in some way. This book is a quick read and I found it quite enjoyable. I will be reading more from Sandra Dallas in the future. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A raw, emotional and important story that tells the tale of womanhood, and the importance of friendship. With immaculate writing and interpretation. Will be recommending to my audience, thank you for this amazing story!
Sandra Dallas's newest book is a compelling read about two sisters in Denver in 1918 - right in the middle of the Spanish flu pandemic and World War I. Helen and Lutie (short for Lucretia) have sold their home in Iowa after their parents' death. They are then able to buy a house in Denver where Helen easily finds work as a nurse. She works long, difficult hours caring for those who are suffering from the Spanish flu. Lutie, a gifted artist, finds work in a women's clothing store designing advertising. The sisters are comfortable, but decide to let out their basement apartment to a married couple with a young daughter. Even in the midst of illness and tragedy both girls find love - Helen with a young doctor and Lutie with a theology student who soon heads off to fight, hoping to bring comfort to soldiers. The girls often help out their renters by watching her daughter, Dorothy. Dorothy often escapes upstairs when her parents are fighting, often with bruises of her own. It is when the mother passes from the flu and her abusive father disappears that Dorothy comes to live with the sisters permanently. When he turns up one night, tragedy ensues and the girls find themselves in danger from the police as well as the flu. Sandra Dallas has done a beautiful job as usual, painting a vivid picture of life during 1918 and creating realistic, sympathetic characters. Lutie is the seamstress and quilter in this book as are often included in Dallas's novels. Fans of Dallas's other novels will be delighted with Little Souls. as will anyone who enjoys historical fiction. I would recommend Little Souls to anyone looking for a good, absorbing read. This will make an excellent book club selection as there is much to discuss about pandemics, abuse, family life, etc. Many thanks to Net Galey for the ARC.
Another beautifully told piece of historical fiction by Sandra Dallas! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Such a timely release of a book. The author draws you in from the first page. I loved each and every character like they were my ancestors.
Lover of romance, historical fiction and sadness don't miss out on this one.
I am a fan of Sandra Dallas and was very excited to read this book. I was not disappointed as the story drew me in from the beginning. Ms. Dallas has such descriptive words and imagination. This cleverly crafted tale of two sisters during the Spanish Flu epidemic was excellent.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
This was not an easy read, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, but I couldn’t put it down. Fantastic historical fiction. Thank to the author, publisher and NetGalley.
What a timely and amazing book! Set during the Spanish Influenza this book echoes many of our concerns and fear during theCovid-19 pandemic.. The main characters are two sisters Helen and Lutie. Helen is a nurse so she is on the front line of the pandemic. Together they deal with sickness, depravity, death and of course love. They take in a little girl Dorothy after the death of her mother and forge an unbreakable bond of sisters.. This book is full of courage and love. The reader will feel the full range of emotions from sadness and shock to happiness and hope. I have been on a reading lull but once I started this book I just could not put it down. I HIGHLY recommend it
AMAZING BOOK! A story about two sisters who are making it on their own as single working women in the early 1900’s. A sister bond stronger than anything. It is war time with a new focus on the Spanish Influenza at its peak. So timely after the past few years of Covid. This story allows us to focus on what really matters, family. The family we were given and the family we choose. The blessing of adults taking in a young girl and providing her with love and security. We are all ‘Little Souls’. Looking out for one another and trying our best to get through life’s challenges. Historical Denver is the perfect backdrop. I loved this story and you will too. Sandra Dallas at her best.
Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martins Press, and Sandra Dallas for this Advanced Readers Copy.
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