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Little Souls

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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 col 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.


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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 col 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.

30 review for Little Souls

  1. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Little Souls captures Denver in 1918. WWI rages and the Spanish influenza is gaining steam. The government tries to downplay the risk of the flu and rumors abound of what causes it - eating Spanish food, listening in on the party line. Dallas has done her research and does an excellent job of slipping in facts to give us a sense of place and time without disrupting the story. Lutie and Helen are sisters, an advertising illustrator for a specialized clothing story and a nurse, respectively. They’ Little Souls captures Denver in 1918. WWI rages and the Spanish influenza is gaining steam. The government tries to downplay the risk of the flu and rumors abound of what causes it - eating Spanish food, listening in on the party line. Dallas has done her research and does an excellent job of slipping in facts to give us a sense of place and time without disrupting the story. Lutie and Helen are sisters, an advertising illustrator for a specialized clothing story and a nurse, respectively. They’re fortunate enough to own their own home and rent out the basement to a family. The father, however, is abusive and a drunk, so no one is upset when he disappears. Then the mother falls victim to the flu. The sisters take the little girl in. The story starts with Lutie coming home to discover Helen standing over the dead body of the father, an ice pick in her hand. It then moves backward in time to give us background on the sisters before moving forward with the aftermath of the murder. Given that plot line, the story could come off as melodramatic, but it remains rooted and at times dark. I love the various definitions about “Little Souls”, the downtrodden and forgotten, to anyone in despair; those people who don’t have much but struggle on every day, living nondescript lives. The story focuses on moving beyond one’s grief, loyalty and dedication, about putting others’ needs ahead of your own. Dallas does a great job of fleshing out all the characters, not just the sisters, but the secondary characters as well. Carly Robins did a great job narrating the story. My thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for an advance copy of this audiobook.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Nobody is born a warrior. You have to hone your skills each time the wave of troubles wash over you. Sandra Dallas presents a time period in history where the trials of life were around every corner. (Sounds kinda familiar in the scheme of things lately.) People leaned in on the bare necessities and weren't privy to more sophisticated means of "dealing" with the cruelties of challenges and tragedies. You just walked full force into the storm. Lucretia "Lutie" and her sister, Helen, are leaving Iow Nobody is born a warrior. You have to hone your skills each time the wave of troubles wash over you. Sandra Dallas presents a time period in history where the trials of life were around every corner. (Sounds kinda familiar in the scheme of things lately.) People leaned in on the bare necessities and weren't privy to more sophisticated means of "dealing" with the cruelties of challenges and tragedies. You just walked full force into the storm. Lucretia "Lutie" and her sister, Helen, are leaving Iowa behind after the deaths of their parents. Helen, a nurse, finds that Denver may be just the place to start over. Lutie has graduated from design school and finds a job at a Denver specialty store. They've bought a small house with their inheritance and are renting out the basement apartment. Both seem to be adjusting to life in Denver in 1918. But the sharp edges of life set in eventually. The two young women notice that things have come off the rails with their young family renters. Ron Streeter seems to be involved with some shifty characters and his cruelty is apparent in the faces of his wife, Maud, and their ten year old daughter, Dorothy. Getting involved or turning your head? Lutie and Helen aren't given a choice when the Spanish Flu Epidemic hits Denver. Maud eventually dies from the flu. Ron Streeter abandons Dorothy. Dorothy finds the waiting arms of the two women. They are determined to adopt Dorothy. Lutie is engaged to Peter who is serving in France. Helen is in a relationship with Gil, a local doctor. Little ducks in a row 'bout now? Not hardly..... Sandra Dallas doesn't plump up the pillows here. She creates the sharp tentacles of hard-nosed trauma and its aftermath. Each of these characters, including those in a supporting role, have been visited upon by unspeakable life circumstances. Dallas shines a light on the stilted manner in which history and social norms frowned upon giving voice to the voiceless. The storyline takes on some heavy-duty topics wrapped in the reality of the day. Dallas puts it out there. Little Souls is well- written and well-presented with the question asked of just how we address the failings of humanity in the winds of the present. Bravo, Sandra Dallas. I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to St. Martin's Press and to Sandra Dallas for the opportunity.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    It seems strange that I would want to read a story that deal with a pandemic. The similarities between the Spanish Flu and current Covid outbreak cannot be denied. The setting is in Denver and it deals with two sisters, Lutie an advertising designer at a local store and Helen, a nurse. Both ladies have beaus, Helen a doctor and Lutie a young man that is going off to war since World War 1 is raging. The girls share a house and have a woman living in the basement with his young daughter, Dorothy. It seems strange that I would want to read a story that deal with a pandemic. The similarities between the Spanish Flu and current Covid outbreak cannot be denied. The setting is in Denver and it deals with two sisters, Lutie an advertising designer at a local store and Helen, a nurse. Both ladies have beaus, Helen a doctor and Lutie a young man that is going off to war since World War 1 is raging. The girls share a house and have a woman living in the basement with his young daughter, Dorothy. When Dorothy's mother dies from the flu, both Lutie and Helen take over the care of Dorothy. Tragedy comes in the form on death when Dorothy's mother is found dead and later on Lutie finds Helen with an ice pick in her hand. The body was that of Dorothy's father and the sisters devise a scheme to hide the body. Thinking of how to accomplish this, the sisters hide the body in the street, a common practice for the dead from the flu. They hope that the body will be thought of as a flu victim. Dorothy seems quite reticent at first, but starts to come into her own under the tutelage of the ladies. When the truth comes out the ladies are determined to keep Dorothy away from the cruelty she has been subjected to. The reader eventually discovers why Dorothy is so fearful and the reasons are heinous. Meanwhile as the story progresses there are more tragedies to come to the door of Lutie and Helen, one of which is the kidnapping of Dorothy by an unscrupulous couple who claim Dorothy is their niece. The ladies are frantic and when the police become involved, more comes out about the couple who supposedly took her. They feared that Dorothy was dead because of her knowledge of the aunt and uncle. They are a nefarious couple whose involvement in crime and unscrupulous activities were known to the police. This was a sad story. It was a sign of the times that many lived under and the joy, sadness, and happiness that can come from loving and caring for another. Definitely recommended to those who enjoy a drama with many secrets and horrific circumstances that many lived under during times of panic and uncertainty. Through determination and love, Dorothy seems destined to become a happy contented child living among people who love and care for her. The title Little Souls has a special, poignant meaning. Thank you to Sandra Dallas, Macmillan audio, and NetGalley for a copy of this story.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 The year is 1918 and WWII along with the Spanish flu is causing much heartbreak. Ludie and Helen are sisters who, after the death of their parents, move to Colorado. Helen, the elder is a nurse who quickly finds herself treating or trying to treat those afflicted with the highly contagious flu. Ludie, works in advertising, and is the mainstay, keeping their household running. Renting put the basement apartment brings the sisters into the life of 10 year old Dorothy and the horrible things be 3.5 The year is 1918 and WWII along with the Spanish flu is causing much heartbreak. Ludie and Helen are sisters who, after the death of their parents, move to Colorado. Helen, the elder is a nurse who quickly finds herself treating or trying to treat those afflicted with the highly contagious flu. Ludie, works in advertising, and is the mainstay, keeping their household running. Renting put the basement apartment brings the sisters into the life of 10 year old Dorothy and the horrible things being done to her by her father. There is much sadness here, both from the flu and personal matters. It does a good portraying life under these double world sorrows. So many died leaving those behind to try to move forward, pick up the pieces. A good historical of a time, too much like now, but it does show that despite sorrow life goes on and small and large happinesses can still be found. The audio narration was very good.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    1918 in Colorado is hardly an easy year for anyone. The Spanish Flu, a natural biological disaster is killing young people and terrifying everyone. This is so eerily close to our current situation with Covid. Yet, there is also a war looming. I have read several books similar with this theme. What sets this book apart is the relationship between the two sisters, Helen who is a nurse and Lutie who went to design school and now is overqualified for her job at a Specialty Shop. Yet, life will get m 1918 in Colorado is hardly an easy year for anyone. The Spanish Flu, a natural biological disaster is killing young people and terrifying everyone. This is so eerily close to our current situation with Covid. Yet, there is also a war looming. I have read several books similar with this theme. What sets this book apart is the relationship between the two sisters, Helen who is a nurse and Lutie who went to design school and now is overqualified for her job at a Specialty Shop. Yet, life will get more difficult for the sisters in the next couple of years. Both of their parents have died, so that is how they purchase a small house in Colorado. They rent out the basement to a family, where the father is abusive to his wife and the sisters suspect also his daughter, Dorothy. Maud, the mom gets the Spanish Flu and dies. The father is certainly not the type equipped to raise a young daughter properly. So, both sisters decide to let Dorothy stay with them and she becomes a third sister. In times like these, the support of your family is probably what is going to save you or at least keep you going until better times come along. Lutie and Helen are each strong women in their own right, but it’s this relationship that makes the book special. That they love Dorothy is a wonderful relationship as well. It is certain that no matter what hardship comes to any of them, the other sister will help out always. Both will do everything to protect Dorothy from further damage and trauma. So, this is the heartwarming part of the book. It carrying them through some extremely rough times. This core relationship helps as they get older and enter new relationships. So, that is why I liked this book so much. If you feel you have just one family member you can count on, this often changes the course of your life. So, yes a sad and upsetting story at times, but an uplifting one, too. We all need people that really love us no matter what the circumstances. I had this as a Kindle Book and also the audio version. I listened a lot to the audio 🎧 since I was driving a long distance yesterday. The audio was clear, easy to understand, and the narration was good. However, when I got to my hotel there were passages I liked and wanted to read in the book and did. I also finished the last few chapters reading them. I liked the combination. I think you could have the book alone or the audio alone and still enjoy this story. I just liked hearing the different characters speak their emotions and also seeing some deeper passages that were written. Thank you St. Martin, Sandra Dallas, St. Martins, and Macmillan Audio for providing an ARC of both the e-book and the audio.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    3.5 stars Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an egalley in exchange for an honest review. Straight-up honesty from this avid reader, I talk a lot in my reviews about falling fully immersed into the narrative. As much as I enjoy Sandra Dallas's novels, this historical fiction set in Colorado during World War I, Prohibition and the Spanish Influenza took me a while before I really got into the story. Sisters Helen and Lutie along with their young charge, Dorothy held a bond of true s 3.5 stars Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an egalley in exchange for an honest review. Straight-up honesty from this avid reader, I talk a lot in my reviews about falling fully immersed into the narrative. As much as I enjoy Sandra Dallas's novels, this historical fiction set in Colorado during World War I, Prohibition and the Spanish Influenza took me a while before I really got into the story. Sisters Helen and Lutie along with their young charge, Dorothy held a bond of true sisterhood during a time when the world around them was very turbulent. Author Sandra Dallas does not censor the many effects of influenza on its young patients and for a while, it seemed that the characters faced one tragedy after the other. My own heart felt very turbulent! That being said, I never felt that the plot was overdramatic, it still kept a very realistic feel. Expected Publication Date 26/04/22 Goodreads review published 30/03/22

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Little Souls by Sandra Dallas was a very compelling historical fiction novel that took place in the early 1900’s during The Spanish Flu pandemic. Simultaneously, while the people around the world battled this quizzical and dreaded flu, World War I was being fought. Women’s roles were clearly defined and opportunities were often lacking for the women that lived during that time period. The type of jobs that were available for women in those times did not promote advancement and the women who held Little Souls by Sandra Dallas was a very compelling historical fiction novel that took place in the early 1900’s during The Spanish Flu pandemic. Simultaneously, while the people around the world battled this quizzical and dreaded flu, World War I was being fought. Women’s roles were clearly defined and opportunities were often lacking for the women that lived during that time period. The type of jobs that were available for women in those times did not promote advancement and the women who held those jobs were not compensated with the same monetary policy afforded to men with the same positions. They were dead end jobs. Women who suffered from abusive husbands were forced to just accept what was being done to them. Few believed them and even if they did the women were usually blamed for doing something that instigated the behavior in the first place. It was a hard time to be a woman. During this time, two very close and devoted sisters had recently lost both of their parents. Helen, the oldest of the two sisters, was determined to sell their parent’s home that was located in a small rural community in Ohio and move to a big city like Denver and start a new life. Lutie, the younger of the two sisters, agreed to accompany her sister to Denver. They purchased a home together and rented out the basement apartment to a couple with a small daughter. Helen was a nurse at the local hospital. She was working tirelessly by nursing the victims that presented with symptoms of the Spanish Flu. The hospitals were overflowing with patients with the Spanish Flu so schools and other buildings were converted to accommodate the countless patients. Lutie was working as an advertiser for fashion at a well known and respected department store in downtown Denver. Although her job was a dead end job Lutie didn’t seem to mind. She was quite talented when it came to sketching fashion and even making her own clothes. One night, as Lutie made her way home after a long and thankless day at work, she encountered a haunting sight. Lying on the street, right before her eyes, was a man. As she got closer, Lutie realized that the man was dying.. He was another victim of the Spanish Flu. Lutie almost bent down to try and see if she could do anything for the man but then she remembered Helen’s warnings about how contagious this flu was. Lutie planned on telling Helen about the man she had seen but when she entered their home, Helen was standing in the kitchen over a body of a dead man, holding a bloody ice pick in her hand. There was no question in Lutie’s mind that Helen had killed the man. Upon closer inspection, Lutie realized that the dead man was the husband of the woman who had been their renter. When the woman renter died from the Spanish Flu, Helen and Lutie were in total agreement that they would take care of Dorothy, the daughter. The father had left his wife and daughter months before but now here he was dead on their kitchen floor. Since so many of the victims of the Spanish Flu were left on the streets to be picked up by carts, Helen and Lutie devised a plan to do the same with the body of Dorothy’s father. They pinned a note on his clothes that read: victim of the Spanish Flu. Helen’s beau, Gil, a doctor at the same hospital where Helen worked, helped Lutie accomplish this. Lutie believed that the only reason Helen could have killed Dorothy’s father was in self defense. No matter what, she would protect her sister, even if it meant bending the truth when the police came to question them. Lutie was determined to keep Helen and Dorothy safe. Lutie also had a boyfriend who was considering becoming a minister. The idea of marrying a minister and becoming a minister’s wife was not very appealing to Lutie, though. In spite of everything, Lutie fell in love with him. Then one day he told her that he had enlisted. Lutie was devastated. The two became engaged before he went off to war. Lutie had even met his parents before he went off to war. His father was a judge and Lutie took to him immediately. Both his mother and father would become important people in Lutie’s life. They would come to her rescue more than once or twice. Little Souls was the first book that I have read by Sandra Dallas but it will not be the last. I enjoyed Sandra Dallas’s plot development in Little Souls and her writing was wonderful. The timing for this engaging book could not have been better timed as we battled and lived through the COVID 19 pandemic. The similarities between the two pandemics were too numerous and almost frightening. I love when a novel has a strong female protagonist and this one most definitely did. I cried a few times during this performance of Little Souls but I also smiled a lot, too. Little Souls explored the themes of sisterhood, love, loss, abuse, determination, strong wills, and secrets. I really enjoyed listening to the audiobook of Little Souls and highly recommend it. Thank you to Macmillan Audio for allowing me to listen to this audiobook through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    1918 in Colorado is hardly an easy year for anyone. The Spanish Flu, a natural biological disaster is killing young people and terrifying everyone. This is so eerily close to our current situation with Covid. Yet, there is also a war looming. I have read several books similar with this theme. What sets this book apart is the relationship between the two sisters, Helen who is a nurse and Laurie who went to design school and now is overqualified for her job at a Specialty Shop. Yet, life will get 1918 in Colorado is hardly an easy year for anyone. The Spanish Flu, a natural biological disaster is killing young people and terrifying everyone. This is so eerily close to our current situation with Covid. Yet, there is also a war looming. I have read several books similar with this theme. What sets this book apart is the relationship between the two sisters, Helen who is a nurse and Laurie who went to design school and now is overqualified for her job at a Specialty Shop. Yet, life will get more difficult for the sisters in the next couple of years. Both of their parents have died, so that is how they purchase a small house in Colorado. They rent out the basement to a family, where the father is abusive to his wife and the sisters suspect also his daughter, Dorothy. Maud, the mom gets the Spanish Flu and dies. The father is certainly not the type equipped to raise a young daughter properly. So, both sisters decide to let Dorothy stay with them and she becomes a third sister. In times like these, the support of your family is probably what is going to save you or at least keep you going until better times come along. Lutie and Helen are each strong women in their own right, but it’s this relationship that makes the book special. That they love Dorothy is a wonderful relationship as well. It is certain that no matter what hardship comes to any of them, the other sister will help out always. Both will do everything to protect Dorothy from further damage and trauma. So, this is the heartwarming part of the book. It carrying them through some extremely rough times. This core relationship helps as they get older and enter new relationships. So, that is why I liked this book so much. If you feel you have just one family member you can count on, this often changes the course of your life. So, yes a sad and upsetting story at times, but an uplifting one, too. We all need people that really love us no matter what the circumstances. I had this as a Kindle Book and also the audio version. I listened a lot to the audio 🎧 since I was driving a long distance yesterday. The audio was clear, easy to understand, and the narration was good. However, when I got to my hotel there were passages I liked and wanted to read in the book and did. I also finished the last few chapters reading them. I liked the combination. I think you could have the book alone or the audio alone and still enjoy this story. I just liked hearing the different characters speak their emotions and also seeing some deeper passages that were written. Thank you St. Martin, Sandra Dallas, St. Martins, and Macmillan Audio for providing an ARC of both the e-book and the audio.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    It is not often that you will see me handing out 5-star reviews or recommending books. Well, this is one book that I must do both for. This 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. Trigger Warnings include but are not limited to-Covid/Spanish flu, incest, rape, murder, war, sexism, and so much heartache that I don't know how I stood it. But I did because this book just had to have had a happy ending. It just ha It is not often that you will see me handing out 5-star reviews or recommending books. Well, this is one book that I must do both for. This 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. Trigger Warnings include but are not limited to-Covid/Spanish flu, incest, rape, murder, war, sexism, and so much heartache that I don't know how I stood it. But I did because this book just had to have had a happy ending. It just ha to-and it did. You do need to do a little suspension of disbelief with Little Souls because it was difficult for me to grasp how much could go wrong and did. How many lives were lost. It just boggled my mind. However, the author handles this all with aplomb and has you believing every word and action the characters make/take. This book reminds me of another author who tackled a similar look at what was happening in America during this same period and pandemic. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you are in luck if you choose to read another book similar to this one.The Orphan Collector This book, Little Souls, is superior, though. This was a fantastic historical fiction novel, and I will surely be visiting my library to read more written by Sandra Dallas. *ARC supplied by the publisher St. Martin's Press, the author Sandra Dallas, and NetGalley. Many thanks.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Little Souls by Sandra Dallas is a great historical fiction novel that takes place in western US during the 1918 flu epidemic and WWI and kept me entertained from beginning to end. This is an intricately woven story of two sisters that have moved out west during a period of political, societal, and epidemiological uncertainty. So many things were changing at this time both here in the States, as well as abroad. Two sisters, Lutie and Helen, give the reader a snapshot as to what women were up agai Little Souls by Sandra Dallas is a great historical fiction novel that takes place in western US during the 1918 flu epidemic and WWI and kept me entertained from beginning to end. This is an intricately woven story of two sisters that have moved out west during a period of political, societal, and epidemiological uncertainty. So many things were changing at this time both here in the States, as well as abroad. Two sisters, Lutie and Helen, give the reader a snapshot as to what women were up against during this time. Through a narrative that weaves history, drama, suspense, murder, mystery, love, loss, sacrifice, and forgiveness, the author tells a tale of two sisters trying to survive and come out alright upon the other side of the metaphorical mountain of obstacles. The author shows her talent by creating a wonderfully complex, creative, and genuine cast of characters, especially with the two main female characters. She made them real, raw, honest, flawed, and fascinating. Their mistakes, their triumphs, and the eventual outcomes made this book unique and gripping. I really loved seeing this special and memorable story unfold. 4/5 stars Thank you NG and St. Martin’s Press for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Another wonderful Sandra Dallas tale! Set during the influenza epidemic at the end of WWI, it felt very relevant to today. Very memorable characters, I enjoyed every minute of it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    LITTLE SOULS by Sandra Dallas St. Martin's Press Pub Date: Apr 26 I HAD to read Little Souls as soon I learned it was set in Denver during the Flu Epidemic of 1918. It has such a compelling storyline involving two sisters, Helen, a nurse, and Lutie, a woman's store ad designer. Soon, they find themselves caring for Dorothy, the daughter of their tenant who died of the flu. They're also impacted by a terrible tragedy, while secrets, the war, and the Pandemic swirl around them. The author has written LITTLE SOULS by Sandra Dallas St. Martin's Press Pub Date: Apr 26 I HAD to read Little Souls as soon I learned it was set in Denver during the Flu Epidemic of 1918. It has such a compelling storyline involving two sisters, Helen, a nurse, and Lutie, a woman's store ad designer. Soon, they find themselves caring for Dorothy, the daughter of their tenant who died of the flu. They're also impacted by a terrible tragedy, while secrets, the war, and the Pandemic swirl around them. The author has written such a gripping tale that I read it in two hungry gulps, intrigued by the deftly penned narrative and the well-developed characters. A must-read for histfic fans and for those intrigued by WWI and the 1918 flu. Thanks to the author, St. Martin's Press, and NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine. #LittleSouls #SandraDallas #stmartinspress #NetGalley #historicalfictionnovel #wwifiction #1918fluepidemicfiction #denverfluepidemicnovel #bookstagramcommunity

  13. 5 out of 5

    theliterateleprechaun

    Both a difficult book to read and review, this one is about two sisters living in Denver during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. I was curious about how our current world situation compared to what these women faced 100 years ago. Although this book mentions soldiers returning home with the flu, it mainly focuses on those on the homefront. In addition to women working to fill the jobs vacated by men, they also dealt with all too familiar public closures as we are experiencing the world over. The l Both a difficult book to read and review, this one is about two sisters living in Denver during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. I was curious about how our current world situation compared to what these women faced 100 years ago. Although this book mentions soldiers returning home with the flu, it mainly focuses on those on the homefront. In addition to women working to fill the jobs vacated by men, they also dealt with all too familiar public closures as we are experiencing the world over. The losses were immense and the sadness and hopelessness pervaded everything. People struggled to make ends meet as they are today. I couldn’t help think about how fortunate we were to receive a vaccine that cut down on the losses. I was shocked that mask-wearing was as controversial at the end of WW1 as it is today. The author stayed true to the times with mindsets and era specifics, she also dealt with sexual assault, prostitution, child abuse, kidnapping and trafficking. It was, at times, a heavy read. I wonder if perhaps she attempted to cover too much in her plot. I also had difficulty with it being told from Lutie’s point of view. It came across as if she was a spectator. Yes, it was predictable. Yes, there was a lot of ‘filler’ but the focus of helping to alleviate the suffering and loss of the ‘little souls’ came across clearly. Please don’t let my review influence your reading choices. My family is in healthcare and have personally experienced several losses of those close to me due to Covid. It was perhaps a bit too soon for me to be reading this book. Perhaps with better perspective, I’d have a different opinion. It is a slow read, similar to Hannah’s ‘Four Winds’ and gives readers an accurate, all-encompassing and informative look into the previous pandemic. I was gifted this advance copy by Sandra Dallas, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Barb Martin

    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 soldi 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

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    A fantastic historical fiction with the Spanish Flu mixed in.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christine M in Texas

    Set in Denver during the deadly Spanish flu pandemic in 1918. The schools are converted into hospitals as people are showing up sick and churches are closed. The streets are filled with corpse in the street. Theft, rape, and many other atrocities are happening. Children are left without parents. Two ladies Lutie and Helen, a nurse share a home. Helen is seeing a doctor and Lutie a student who will join the war. They rent a small apartment in their basement. After their tenant died the sisters st Set in Denver during the deadly Spanish flu pandemic in 1918. The schools are converted into hospitals as people are showing up sick and churches are closed. The streets are filled with corpse in the street. Theft, rape, and many other atrocities are happening. Children are left without parents. Two ladies Lutie and Helen, a nurse share a home. Helen is seeing a doctor and Lutie a student who will join the war. They rent a small apartment in their basement. After their tenant died the sisters start caring for a small girl. A man is found dead in their home and Helen is standing over him with an icepick. What comes out is horrible. They chose to place the dead man in the streets hoping the police will think he is a flu victim, after all people are dying in the streets. Whom do they trust with their secrets? Do they become suspects? Absolutely heartbreaking!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis Jones Pisanelli Reviews

    Little Souls by Sandra Dallas was a fabulous book! I gave it FIVE stars for FIVE reasons. I’ll list them for you below. Number One ~ I loved the time period. It took place during the period of the 1918 flu and World War I. It was interesting how the epidemic was handled then compared to how it has been handled during our current Covid-19 epidemic. The same type of precautions were taken and at times precautions were thrown to the wind. The parades and the celebrations in the streets when the end Little Souls by Sandra Dallas was a fabulous book! I gave it FIVE stars for FIVE reasons. I’ll list them for you below. Number One ~ I loved the time period. It took place during the period of the 1918 flu and World War I. It was interesting how the epidemic was handled then compared to how it has been handled during our current Covid-19 epidemic. The same type of precautions were taken and at times precautions were thrown to the wind. The parades and the celebrations in the streets when the end of the war was declared was one instance. Number Two ~ The characters in this book were people we could relate to. Much like we think they may have been in that time period. More gentle and caring. Hardworking people. The main character was an artist for a popular department store that drew the advertisements for the newspaper. We’ve all seen the black and white drawings but, for some reason, I never imagined someone be employed to do that all day everyday. Number Three ~ The cost of homes in that day for a modest family home was in the neighborhood of $1000.00. I like reading how they were frugal with their money. Many folks in town did not own a care because there were trolleys running through town and it was easy enough to walk to the stop and jump on the trolley to get to near where you wanted to go. Number Four ~ I grew to understand that although we have many more advancements in the medical field, we still fell short when it came to treating Covid-19. They fell very short when it came to treating the Spanish Flu. They absolutely didn’t have any drugs to combat the flu. When the sick started to turn blue, they knew the end was near. In fact, they called it the Spanish Flu but they think it may have started in the United States and our service men took it to other countries when they went to fight the war. Number Five ~ I loved the slang that was used during that time. We have all heard the police called Coppers in the old films. It was fun to see how the vocabulary was sometimes used during that time. I really enjoyed that time period in the book. Sandra Dallas did a fine job in the book. Some folks resist reading anything about a pandemic but, I don’t think it was really that prominent in the book. It might have been for someone that has lost a loved one to the pandemic but, it may be just something you can relate to. Overall, the book related to the stamina of people in hard times and the will to move forward and do what is right. I think this book should be required reading. It was so good and there was so much to be learned.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    This wonderfully written novel takes place in 1919 in Denver Colorado. Sisters Helen and Luttie moved to Denver after the death of their parents in Ohio. They are very close despite the fact that they are very different from each other - Helen is a serious nurse and Luttie is a carefree advertising designer. Soon after the move to Denver, they both find boyfriends -- Helen's beau is a doctor and Luttie's boyfriend is a student. Helen's boyfriend spends most of his time tending to the sick while This wonderfully written novel takes place in 1919 in Denver Colorado. Sisters Helen and Luttie moved to Denver after the death of their parents in Ohio. They are very close despite the fact that they are very different from each other - Helen is a serious nurse and Luttie is a carefree advertising designer. Soon after the move to Denver, they both find boyfriends -- Helen's beau is a doctor and Luttie's boyfriend is a student. Helen's boyfriend spends most of his time tending to the sick while Luttie's boyfriend joined the Army so he could do his part to help America win the war. The sisters also have a rental apartment in their basement and when the woman dies from the flu. they decide to take in her 10 year old daughter, Dorothy. The young girl is very traumatized from some events in her life and the sisters work hard to make her part of their family. 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. If you enjoy historical fiction set in the United States, you don't want to miss this book. You won't want to put it down once you've started it but warning - you need to have tissue close at hand. This well written and well researched book will give you characters that you won't soon forget and a look at life when people had to deal with a world war and a devastating flu at home. I loved it and plan to go back and read some of this author's earlier books. Thanks to goodreads for a copy of this book to read and review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    This immersive work of historical fiction transported me to Colorado during World War I and the influenza epidemic. Two sisters take a young girl under their wings after her abusive father is murdered, but who killed him? And will they be forced apart? This book started a bit slow but had a lot of unexpected twists and turns. There were parts of it that felt awfully relevant to our times. I received an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jazzie077

    Little Souls by Sandra Dallas. Pub Date: April 26th, 2022. Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟. I always appreciate a fresh historical fiction novel and this one fit the bill. Set during the deadly flu pandemic, this is the story of sisters who are forced to grow up, navigate unknown times, take in an orphaned child and somehow survive one of the deadliest medical situations in history. I loved the setting, the relationships and the demonstrations of hardships these characters faced during this time period. It was an Little Souls by Sandra Dallas. Pub Date: April 26th, 2022. Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟. I always appreciate a fresh historical fiction novel and this one fit the bill. Set during the deadly flu pandemic, this is the story of sisters who are forced to grow up, navigate unknown times, take in an orphaned child and somehow survive one of the deadliest medical situations in history. I loved the setting, the relationships and the demonstrations of hardships these characters faced during this time period. It was an easy, but important historical fiction read. Thanks to @netgalley and @stmartinspress for this e-arc in exchange for my honest review. #bookstagram #bibliophile #igreads #bookworm #stmartinspress #littlesouls

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    Lutie and Helen move to Denver from Idaho after the death of their parents. They buy a cute little house and Helen is working as a nurse and has a doctor boyfriend. Lutie works in the advertising department of a local department store drawing their advertisements. Lutie is in love with a young theology student. To make a little extra money they rent out a basement apartment. This is also 1918 and the Spanish flu is raging. The father downstairs is abusive and eventually runs away and the little Lutie and Helen move to Denver from Idaho after the death of their parents. They buy a cute little house and Helen is working as a nurse and has a doctor boyfriend. Lutie works in the advertising department of a local department store drawing their advertisements. Lutie is in love with a young theology student. To make a little extra money they rent out a basement apartment. This is also 1918 and the Spanish flu is raging. The father downstairs is abusive and eventually runs away and the little girl loses her mother to the flu and Helen and Lutie are determined to adopt her and make her their sister. There are a lot of secrets and even with all the horrible things that happened with abuse and murder I just didn't feel the gravity of the situation. I thought the book was easy to read and I truly cared for all the characters and was rooting for them. There were so many secrets that came out. The epilogue jumps 10 years and I really wish I knew what happened in more depth in that 10 years. I would like to thank Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with a digital copy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Pena

    Goodreads giveaways. Outstanding historical fiction read. Colorado 1918. Spanish flu. Very apropos to read about masking and quarantining. Story of two sisters and their bind that spans grief, pandemics, and terrifying situations. Highly recommend. Fans of Kristin Hannah will enjoy this.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    How many little souls are there? There are quite a few little souls who became orphans once their parents were killed in the war or perished with the Spanish Flu. We meet Dorothy, now an orphan, Helen a nurse, and Lutie a fashion designer living together as a family in Denver during WWI and the pandemic of 1918. Helen and Lutie moved to Denver after the death of their parents, and they made Dorothy their sister. All three characters were well developed and lovable. Of course there are some unsavor How many little souls are there? There are quite a few little souls who became orphans once their parents were killed in the war or perished with the Spanish Flu. We meet Dorothy, now an orphan, Helen a nurse, and Lutie a fashion designer living together as a family in Denver during WWI and the pandemic of 1918. Helen and Lutie moved to Denver after the death of their parents, and they made Dorothy their sister. All three characters were well developed and lovable. Of course there are some unsavory characters to deal with, but the book is one historical fiction fans and women’s fiction fans will enjoy. Some uncomfortable situations are also addressed, but the story line will draw you in and deals with the struggles of women and how folks lived through the 1918 pandemic and the war. Along with the Spanish Flu problems, a murder and kidnapping occur. Despite the situations of the characters, the story line is also very well written and appropriate for this time with our current pandemic. Enjoy when you read this book. 4/5 This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Moonkiszt

    Here we find two sisters dropped in a world full of disease and at the very brink of war. It is the beginning of the spread of Spanish Flu and it has finally reached Denver, Colorado. Helen and Lutie (short for Lucretia), find themselves trying to be independent and helpful in their community when the walls move in on them. They adopt a young neighbor girl, Dorothy, when her mother dies of the flu. All around them people are dying, close and closer. The deeper into the book I got, the more I cou Here we find two sisters dropped in a world full of disease and at the very brink of war. It is the beginning of the spread of Spanish Flu and it has finally reached Denver, Colorado. Helen and Lutie (short for Lucretia), find themselves trying to be independent and helpful in their community when the walls move in on them. They adopt a young neighbor girl, Dorothy, when her mother dies of the flu. All around them people are dying, close and closer. The deeper into the book I got, the more I couldn't put it down. . . .how were they ever going to survive? And it's not just disease that threatens their lives. . . . Little Souls provided me a glimpse into the past, and felt very relevant in light of these last few years in COVID lockdowns and the many losses so many of us have experienced. A Sincere Thank You to Sandra Dallas, St. Martin' Press and NetGalley for an ARC to read and review. Publication date: 26 Apr 2022

  25. 5 out of 5

    KarenK2

    I received this from Netgalley.com. "Set in 1918 against the flu epidemic and WW1, Helen and Lutie have moved to Denver from Ohio after their parents’ death." I keep reading always with the desire to learn something new, a tidbit of history I have never heard before, and this book is stuffed with factoids of history. But unfortunately, not only did the history feel like it came straight from dusty history books (and Wikipedia), this is a very predictable and sappy story with modern-day behavior I received this from Netgalley.com. "Set in 1918 against the flu epidemic and WW1, Helen and Lutie have moved to Denver from Ohio after their parents’ death." I keep reading always with the desire to learn something new, a tidbit of history I have never heard before, and this book is stuffed with factoids of history. But unfortunately, not only did the history feel like it came straight from dusty history books (and Wikipedia), this is a very predictable and sappy story with modern-day behavior that would have ostracized young women of that era .. and I saw the ending after just a few chapters. 2☆

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maxine

    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. 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 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. 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 period. 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. Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    This was not an easy read, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. Lutie and her sister Helen are living in Denver in 1918, the height of the Spanish flu epidemic. There was so much loss and sadness in this book, also centered around World War I. Definitely one that will stay with me for a good while - the characters, their stories and the ending. I was compelled to finish to hear what happened to the characters, even when their story was heart-wrenching and sad. Thank you to NetGalley, Sa This was not an easy read, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. Lutie and her sister Helen are living in Denver in 1918, the height of the Spanish flu epidemic. There was so much loss and sadness in this book, also centered around World War I. Definitely one that will stay with me for a good while - the characters, their stories and the ending. I was compelled to finish to hear what happened to the characters, even when their story was heart-wrenching and sad. Thank you to NetGalley, Sandra Dallas and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sonja

    Thank you to Net galley and McMillian audio for the copy of this audio book. This book was amazing!! I have to be honest- I did not read the entire book blurb I like to be surprised on books. So I was blindly listening to this book. I was shocked to learn that this book touches on childhood sexual abuse and its long term affects of the victim. then I was shocked to learn it touched on death too. The author did a great job with bringing everything together.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This is Historical Fiction set during WWI and the Spanish flu pandemic. There were some dark topics in this but it still held on to some sweetness (especially the ending). I liked the two sisters and their journey. Just the kind of sister you'd want to have. The mother-in-law-to-be was priceless. She was cotton candy and an anchor....both at the same time. So that worked for me. This was a little too sweet for me and some of this was a little on the predictable side but the the murder twist at t This is Historical Fiction set during WWI and the Spanish flu pandemic. There were some dark topics in this but it still held on to some sweetness (especially the ending). I liked the two sisters and their journey. Just the kind of sister you'd want to have. The mother-in-law-to-be was priceless. She was cotton candy and an anchor....both at the same time. So that worked for me. This was a little too sweet for me and some of this was a little on the predictable side but the the murder twist at the end was a nice surprise. So I think I'll settle at 3 stars.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Aura

    Sandra Dallas has written an unexpected novel set during the flu pandemic in 1918. Sisters are thrown in to a murder investigation relating to the loathsome downstair tenant. As they attempt to adopt a little girl who has been left orphaned, in 1918 these sisters find themselves constrained as unmarried working women. Also, prohibition, WWI and the flu pandemic make for a lot of heartbreak. I really enjoyed this novel even though I did not realize I would be reading about a difficult subject of Sandra Dallas has written an unexpected novel set during the flu pandemic in 1918. Sisters are thrown in to a murder investigation relating to the loathsome downstair tenant. As they attempt to adopt a little girl who has been left orphaned, in 1918 these sisters find themselves constrained as unmarried working women. Also, prohibition, WWI and the flu pandemic make for a lot of heartbreak. I really enjoyed this novel even though I did not realize I would be reading about a difficult subject of abuse and incest.

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