Thursday, May 19, 2022

Little Souls by Sandra Dallas


If you've been following my blog for a long time, you know I'm a big Sandra Dallas fan. I was thrilled to finally sit down and read her new book. Reading a novel by Sandra Dallas always feels comforting to me, and this novel was no different. 

Set in Denver during the Spanish Flu Pandemic and last days of World War One, this novel is about two sisters, Lutie and Helen. With their parents dead, both sisters moved from Cedar Rapids, Iowa (always an Iowa connection in Dallas' novels!) to Denver to start fresh. Helen is a nurse and works long hours tending to flu patients. Lutie works for a department store drawing advertisements. They own a home and rent the basement out. 

The basement residents are a couple and their young daughter Dorothy. Unfortunately, Dorothy's father is a mean, nasty man-a drunk and an abuser. When Dorothy's mother ends up a victim of the flu, Helen and Lutie take her in and decide they will raise her as their sister. It's obvious her father could care less about her, and besides, he's gone for days at a time. 

Until one day Lutie comes home and finds Mr. Streeter (Dorothy's father) dead on the kitchen floor; Helen standing over him with an ice pick. Helen confesses to killing him after finding him attacking Dorothy. Afraid to call the police, Lutie and Helen's beau Gil dispose of the body and pray he'll be mistaken for a flu victim. After all, people were dying in the streets, and so many were dying it was assumed any body left outside was a flu victim. 

With that terrible secret to bear, Lutie, Helen, and Dorothy attempt to keep moving on, but bad times just aren't through with them just yet. I don't want to say what else happens, because it would spoil the whole novel. But if you've read any of Sandra Dallas' novels before, you know there are some twists and turns, some unexpected sorrows, and always sunshine after the rain. Sandra has a talent for writing a good, solid story, with women as the central characters. This story, just like her others, is about everyday people living through extraordinary times; doing their best to survive, find happiness, and have a fulfilling life. 

I loved Lutie and Helen, and their relationship with Dorothy. There are some dark, cruel things that are explained to shed light on character behaviors, but not graphically at all and tastefully done. All in all, a quick read, and a welcome return from one of my favorite authors. 

Rating: 4/6 for a novel set in troubling times; about people who form a family, love each other through hard times, and find ways to heal old wounds. 

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 

No comments :

Post a Comment