All We Have to Believe In

by Jeffrey Lousteau


All We Have To Believe In is a captivating story of love and loss, of betrayal and redemption, set against the backdrop of America in the 1920s.

Edward Dooley is a disillusioned veteran of the Great War who comes home to San Francisco, struggles to fit into a fast-changing society, and falls in love with the daughter of immigrants who is as headstrong as he is idealistic.

Beneath all the glamour of the dazzling decade, however, xenophobia is taking hold, prosperity is undone by greed, and Prohibition proves morally bankrupt. Told with compassion and rich in historical detail, the themes of this story continue to resonate today.

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The Author:

Jeffrey J. Lousteau is a native San Franciscan drawn to the timeless patterns and ironies between the present and the past. An architect by background, he is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, holds a master's degree from MIT, and serves as an assistant editor for the online literary journal Narrative Magazine. He is the father of two sons and lives with his wife in Berkeley, California.


ISBN: 978-1-957013-02-2
Publication date: November 16, 2021
Page count: 402
List price: $15.99
Formats available: paperback and eBook

Set in California just after the First World War, Jeffrey J. Lousteau’s All We Have to Believe In is a compelling story depicting the struggles faced by returning soldiers, as well as the harsh reality and injustice of America at that time.
Narrating the roller coaster life of Edward Dooley and his wife Angela, the novel explores the often vindictive laws biased against veterans, as well as the inherent racism faced daily by immigrants in the workplace and courts.
The book is well written and touching with believable and relatable characters. I appreciated the historical facts woven seamlessly in the novel, helping the reader to truly feel part of the era being discussed.
Overall an enjoyable and swift read, All we Have to Believe In is a wonderful novel that I’m sure everyone will enjoy and learn something from.

Martha Custis

Compelling Read

If you love period dramas like me , you would be entertained with this one. All We Have to Believe In is set in 1920 in America post WWI . I guess it's a story where love is something that conquers all , it is a captivating read . The story is really not that unique nor the characters but the delivery is still entertaining and effective. The way the author wrote the scenes was very captivating and transposes you to the 1920’s. I can clearly imagine how things look. It will give you a glimpse of the past through the author's words and make you say that it is a tale as old as time but shown in a different light. Xenophobia , conflict, tragedy, a virus , all of these we experienced and still experiencing right now , that's what makes this book an inspiring read.


Lovely story to read.

All We Have to Believe In by Jeffrey Lousteau is a historical fiction novel about 1920s America starring vivid imagery and well-researched details. We meet Edward Dooley, a World War I veteran living in San Francisco reflecting on his time in the war and circumventing a rapidly changing culture. The 1920s were swinging, but lurking in the shadows there were impacts of the Great War, Prohibition, and an increasing immigrant population. I liked that we saw this time period in ways that affected others as well, like the rampant xenophobia. Also, no details were left out, which makes for a long read, but I prefer something fleshed out in terms of setting rather than shallow anyway.


well-paced and researched!

This is a cleverly-crafted historical novel chronicling the lives and times of two San Francisco families.
The main character, Edward Dooley, returns home chastened by his battlefield experiences during the First World War. The painful memories gradually drive a wedge between him and his sweetheart Constance Doherty as he and all America strive to return to their normal way of life.
This extensively-researched book gives a taste of conditions during the prohibition years of the 1920s. It shows how the Wall Street crash of 1929 and the Great Depression took their toll on the two Irish families and how even diehard Republicans like Edward came to support Franklin D. Roosevelt’s winning election strategy of 1932 and his promised New Deal of public works to get the economy moving again.
Along the way we learn about memorable baseball games, the state of the garment trade, politics, religion and, most of all, the relationships and rivalries impinging upon American family routines.
Descriptions are so detailed at times you can almost hear the whistle of the passing train or smell the carnations on the mantel. You can almost stand alongside Edward in a meadow adorned with purple lupine or feel queasy entering a tool-shed reeking of grease and turps.
In addition, the author weaves a love story into the narrative as Edward gains an admirer following his concerns for injured war veterans. Overall, this is a heart-warming tale of American life between the wars. Highly recommended.

Tony Bassett

A heart-warming tale of American life between the wars

The story of a disillusioned veteran of the Great War who comes home to San Francisco and finds it really hard to fit in a fast-paced society covers on a lot of different themes; from love to hate, from betrayal to forgiveness, we are exposed to a narrative that takes a deep dive into veterans and their life after wars.
The fact that history is well-depicted here and plenty of historical details are presented in a clear manner proves that the author is knowledgeable on the topic and has done proper research of events.
Through imagery and a vivid plot, we get to read a moving and sensual story set within the lands of good and evil. Enjoyable!

Sol Tyler


Set back in the 1920s, the book "All we have to believe in" takes one through the streets of San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. World War l did end, but not the trauma and emotional pain from the field. The veteran Edward stumbles upon challenges, from war to being an outcast. But along the way, he falls in love with a beautiful and strong woman. The brazen courage of the immigrant families to face the struggles along the way was admirable. The tragedies and events of the times from the influenza pandemic to the 1932 election unfold, hooking the reader in loops of history.

The author had penned the novel with vivid details and evocative emotions. He addressed in detail the erroneous xenophobia of people and the effects it had on people. As a reader, I felt like walking along with the protagonist through pain and play. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with a love for history, tragedy, and romance.


Packed with history, tragedy, and romance.

All We Have to Believe in ISBN: 9781957013039 Hybrid Global Publishing published copyright and written by Jeffrey J. Lousteau.
The story opens in May 1919 in San Francisco with a parade followed by celebration in the rose garden of the Parthenon for the soldiers just returned from Europe with termination of WWI and selected family members. The book describes the WW1 horrors, the men who participated and the many levels of suffering they encountered, the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, the ‘mockery’ of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, the Great Depression, the government’s attempt at legislating the curtailment of personal consumption of alcohol termed Prohibition, the racial hatred, and more. All has been encapsulated in a family and their acquaintances in a time when wide spread unrest existed. The protagonist is Edward Dooley, a young Irish immigrant who enlists in the army directly from high school, and participates in heavy combat, returns suffering from a degree of what today finally has been determined PTSD, maries a loving and understanding woman with whom he has three children. But, to include a more complete overview of the era, he has been placed in the position of the son of immigrant parents upon whom his family becomes heavily dependent.
Discussion: The author has set forth a history of the 1900’s by employing a main character fully representing the average American man who was involved totally in the activities of the chaotic century making the errors made by most members of the generations struggling through with tenacity of purpose to survive. Generally speaking, it is a depressing story that in attempting to ‘cover-all-bases’, often becomes entrapped in unnecessary details. However, if the reader can accept these oversites, he/she will discover a quite extensive knowledge of the era told plainly and setting forth the main protagonist as an individual of strong character indoctrinated with the strong morality and work ethic existent within the generation as well as the other firmly established beliefs that appear to have been included in the members of those generations so as often being referred to as The Great Generation.

John H. Manhold

3* 5* history of an era; -2 lengthy discussions; depressing but recommended.

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