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About Sandra Dallas
Dubbed "a quintessential American voice" by Jane Smiley, in Vogue Magazine, Sandra Dallas is a New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen adult novels, several children's novels, and numerous works of non-fiction about Western subjects. Her adult novels, which include Prayers for Sale, Tallgrass, and The Persian Pickle Club, all share themes of loyalty, friendship, and human dignity and have been translated into a dozen foreign languages and have been optioned for films. Her work has won or been nominated for numerous awards and prizes and in 2021, she was inducted into the Colorado Authors' Hall of Fame. A former bureau chief for BusinessWeek magazine, Sandra lives in Denver and Georgetown, Colorado with her husband and with her two grown daughters nearby.
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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 nightly horse-drawn wagons collect corpses left in the street. Sisters Helen and Lutie have moved to Denver from Ohio after their parents’ death. Helen, a nurse, and Lutie, a carefree advertising designer at Neusteter’s department 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 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 victim of the flu.
Meanwhile Lutie also worries about her fiance “over there”. As it happens, his wealthy mother harbors a secret of her own and helps the sisters as the danger deepens, from the murder investigation and the flu.
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.
No one is more surprised than Mattie Spenser herself when Luke Spenser, considered the great catch of their small Iowa town, asks her to marry him. Less than a month later, they are off in a covered wagon to build a home on the Colorado frontier. Mattie's only company is a slightly mysterious husband and her private journal, where she records the joys and frustrations not just of frontier life, but also of a new marriage to a handsome but distant stranger. As she and Luke make life together on the harsh and beautiful plains, Mattie learns some bitter truths about her husband and the girl he left behind and finds love where she least expects it. Dramatic and suspenseful, this is an unforgettable story of hardship, friendship and survival.
With Sandra Dallas's incomparable gift for creating a sense of time and place and characters that capture your heart, The Last Midwife tells the story of family, community, and the secrets that can destroy and unite them.
It is 1880 and Gracy Brookens is the only midwife in a small Colorado mining town where she has delivered hundreds, maybe thousands, of babies in her lifetime. The women of Swandyke trust and depend on Gracy, and most couldn't imagine getting through pregnancy and labor without her by their sides.
But everything changes when a baby is found dead...and the evidence points to Gracy as the murderer.
She didn't commit the crime, but clearing her name isn't so easy when her innocence is not quite as simple, either. She knows things, and that's dangerous. Invited into her neighbors' homes during their most intimate and vulnerable times, she can't help what she sees and hears. A woman sometimes says things in the birthing bed, when life and death seem suspended within the same moment. Gracy has always tucked those revelations away, even the confessions that have cast shadows on her heart.
With her friends taking sides and a trial looming, Gracy must decide whether it's worth risking everything to prove her innocence. And she knows that her years of discretion may simply demand too high a price now...especially since she's been keeping more than a few dark secrets of her own.
From the bestselling author of Prayers for Sale, Sandra Dallas' Westering Women is an inspiring celebration of sisterhood on the perilous Overland Trail
AG Journal's RURAL THEMES BOOKS FOR WINTER READING | Hasty Book Lists' BEST BOOKS COMING OUT IN JANUARY
“Exciting novel ... difficult to put down.” —Booklist
"If you are an adventuresome young woman of high moral character and fine health, are you willing to travel to California in search of a good husband?"
It's February, 1852, and all around Chicago, Maggie sees postings soliciting "eligible women" to travel to the gold mines of Goosetown. A young seamstress with a small daughter, she has nothing to lose. She joins forty-three other women and two pious reverends on the dangerous 2,000-mile journey west.
None are prepared for the hardships they face on the trek or for the strengths they didn't know they possessed. Maggie discovers she’s not the only one looking to leave dark secrets behind. And when her past catches up with her, it becomes clear a band of sisters will do whatever it takes to protect one of their own.
In her magical, memorable novel, Sandra Dallas explores the ties of loyalty and friendship that unite the women in a quilting circle in Depression-era Kansas
It is the 1930s, and hard times have hit Harveyville, Kansas, where the crops are burning up, and there's not a job to be found. For Queenie Bean, a young farm wife, a highlight of each week is the gathering of the Persian Pickle Club, a group of local ladies dedicated to improving their minds, exchanging gossip, and putting their quilting skills to good use. When a new member of the club stirs up a dark secret, the women must band together to support and protect one another.
An essential American novel from Sandra Dallas, an unparalleled writer of our history, and our deepest emotions...
During World War II, a family finds life turned upside down when the government opens a Japanese internment camp in their small Colorado town. After a young girl is murdered, all eyes (and suspicions) turn to the newcomers, the interlopers, the strangers.
This is Tallgrass as Rennie Stroud has never seen it before. She has just turned thirteen and, until this time, life has pretty much been what her father told her it should be: predictable and fair. But now the winds of change are coming and, with them, a shift in her perspective. And Rennie will discover secrets that can destroy even the most sacred things.
Part thriller, part historical novel, Tallgrass is a riveting exploration of the darkest--and best--parts of the human heart.
Hennie Comfort is eighty-six and has lived in the mountains of Middle Swan, Colorado since before it was Colorado. Nit Spindle is just seventeen and newly married. She and her husband have just moved to the high country in search of work. It's 1936 and the depression has ravaged the country and Nit and her husband have suffered greatly. Hennie notices the young woman loitering near the old sign outside of her house that promises "Prayers For Sale". Hennie doesn't sell prayers, never has, but there's something about the young woman that she's drawn to. The harsh conditions of life that each have endured create an instant bond and an unlikely friendship is formed, one in which the deepest of hardships are shared and the darkest of secrets are confessed.
Sandra Dallas has created an unforgettable tale of a friendship between two women, one with surprising twists and turns, and one that is ultimately a revelation of the finest parts of the human spirit.
From the ballrooms and mansions of Denver's newly wealthy, to the seamy life of desperate women, Fallen Women illuminates the darkest places of the human heart.
It is the spring of 1885 and wealthy New York socialite Beret Osmundsen has been estranged from her younger sister, Lillie, for a year when she gets word from her aunt and uncle that Lillie has died suddenly in Denver. What they do not tell her is that Lillie had become a prostitute and was brutally murdered in the brothel where she had been living. When Beret discovers the sordid truth of Lillie's death, she makes her way to Denver, determined to find her sister's murderer. Detective Mick McCauley may not want her involved in the case, but Beret is determined, and the investigation soon takes her from the dangerous, seedy underworld of Denver's tenderloin to the highest levels of Denver society. Along the way, Beret not only learns the depths of Lillie's depravity, but also exposes the sinister side of Gilded Age ambition in the process.
Sandra Dallas once again delivers a page-turner filled with mystery, intrigue, and the kind of intricate detail that truly transports you to another time and place.
2020 Women Writing the West Willa Award (tied for 1st place)
In 1933, what's left of the Turner family--twelve-year-old Hallie and her two brothers--finds itself driving the back roads of rural America. The children have been swept up into a new migratory way of life. America is facing two devastating crises: the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Hundreds of thousands of people in cities across the country have lost jobs. In rural America it isn't any better as crops suffer from the never-ending drought. Driven by severe economic hardship, thousands of people take to the road to seek whatever work they can find, often splintering fragile families in the process. As the Turner children move from town to town, searching for work and trying to cobble together the basic necessities of life, they are met with suspicion and hostility. They are viewed as outsiders in their own country. Will they ever find a place to call home? New York Times-bestselling author Sandra Dallas gives middle-grade readers a timely story of young people searching for a home and a better way of life.
From The New York Times bestselling author of Prayers for Sale comes the moving and powerful story of a small town after a devastating avalanche, and the life changing effects it has on the people who live there
Whiter Than Snow opens in 1920, on a spring afternoon in Swandyke, a small town near Colorado's Tenmile Range. Just moments after four o'clock, a large split of snow separates from Jubilee Mountain high above the tiny hamlet and hurtles down the rocky slope, enveloping everything in its path including nine young children who are walking home from school. But only four children survive. Whiter Than Snow takes you into the lives of each of these families: There's Lucy and Dolly Patch—two sisters, long estranged by a shocking betrayal. Joe Cobb, Swandyke's only black resident, whose love for his daughter Jane forces him to flee Alabama. There's Grace Foote, who hides secrets and scandal that belies her genteel façade. And Minder Evans, a civil war veteran who considers his cowardice his greatest sin. Finally, there's Essie Snowball, born Esther Schnable to conservative Jewish parents, but who now works as a prostitute and hides her child's parentage from all the world.
Ultimately, each story serves as an allegory to the greater theme of the novel by echoing that fate, chance, and perhaps even divine providence, are all woven into the fabric of everyday life. And it's through each character's defining moment in his or her past that the reader understands how each child has become its parent's purpose for living. In the end, it's a novel of forgiveness, redemption, survival, faith and family.
Alice Bullock is a young newlywed whose husband, Charlie, has just joined the Union Army, leaving her on his Iowa farm with only his formidable mother for company. Equally talented at sewing and gossip, and not overly fond of hard work, Alice writes lively letters to her sister filled with accounts of local quilting bees, the rigors of farm life, and the customs of small-town America. But no town is too small for intrigue and treachery, and when Alice finds herself accused of murder, she must rely on support from unlikely sources.
Rich in details of quilting, Civil War-era America, and the realities of a woman's life in the nineteenth century, Alice's Tulips is Sandra Dallas at her best, a dramatic and heartwarming tale of friendship, adversity, and triumph.
Natchez, Mississippi, in 1933 is a place suspended in time. The silver and china is still dented and cracked from Yankee invaders. And the houses have names...and memories. Nora Bondurant is running away--from her husband's death, from his secrets, and from the ghosts that dog her every step. When she receives a telegram informing her that she has an inheritance, Nora suddenly has somewhere to run to: a house named Avoca in Natchez, Mississippi. Now, she's learning that the lure of Natchez runs deep, and that, along with Avoca, she's inherited a mystery. Nora's aunt Amalia Bondurant was killed in a murder/suicide, and the locals are saying nothing more--except in hushed, honeyed tones. As Nora becomes more and more enmeshed in the community and in her family's history, she learns surprising things about the life and death of her aunt: kinship isn't always what it seems, loyalty can be as fierce as blood relations, and every day we are given new mercies to heal the pain of loss and love.