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In This Our Life

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  669 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
This early work by Ellen Glasgow is both expensive and hard to find in its first edition. It is a fictional story of two sisters and their trials and tribulations in love and life. This is a fascinating work and it eventually became a Hollywood movie starring Bette Davies. Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely ...more
ebook, 350 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Williamson Press (first published 1941)
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Muriel Schwenck I do not think there is anything significant beyond it's poignancy. It is a common flower with a sweet scent which it would be easy and attractive for…moreI do not think there is anything significant beyond it's poignancy. It is a common flower with a sweet scent which it would be easy and attractive for a little girl to pick. In other words,she had probably just picked a big bunch by herself to give her mother or take somewhere, making the accident all that more tragic.(less)
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I think the Pulitzer committee awarded this novel for two reasons:
First, I would guess they were impressed by the central tension in the novel which is the conflict between a person's obligations and his or her desire to be free. The book also looks at whether true freedom is even possible.
The other notable feature is a strong racial consciousness. It's the first Pulitzer I've read where racism is seen in a very negative light and the problems facing African American people are explored with a
Jan 25, 2016 Sally rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1942. There was a movie based on it the same year with Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland as the two sisters and Charles Coburn as the grandfather. Unfortunately this is the sort of novel that gives Pulitzer Prize novels a bad name. Set in the South just prior to WWII, the novel features the romantic and existential dramas of two sisters named Stanley and Roy (those really are their names). Their father Asa is a sad sack, from decayed Southern gentility, who ...more
Jan 28, 2012 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulitzer
In This Our life was the Pulitzer for 1942 and is about an upper-class family in the Virginia, The Timberlakes. The father Asa and mother Lavinia have a emotionless marriages. Lavinia is a hypochondriac and spends most of the book in bed. They have two daughters with male names, Stanley and Roy. Roy is the oldest, sensible, her father's daughter and is married to Peter a surgeon. Stanley is a weak but pretty girl who has had everything done for her her entire life - given what she wants, protect ...more
This is a Pulitzer Prize Winner for 1942. I suppose it shows the schism between the older generation following their duty and the younger generation searching for their own way to be happy. It doesn't have any really likeable characters. I almost stopped reading when the duty bound father, Asa, said he never had one happy moment in his life. Really? Not even one? That seems hard to believe.
I guess I developed my patience as I read about the two daughters, Stanley and Roy (why they had masculine
Martha Johnson
This is apparently a bit of a classic and I had to order it from a Baltimore library from Annapolis. I found myself reading very quickly, skimming here and there, which tells me that the writing could have been tighter. We seemed to go over old ground repeatedly, but the novel is about Asa, a 60 year old man who is facing his life and hoping for some freedom. He's devoted to his family although his wife is ill and pretty sour; one daughter is selfish beyond belief and the other is only emerging ...more
Anna Gabur
This book had such a great plot and such great potential! The events happened unexpectedly and it could have been a real page-turner, if only it hadn't been for the terrible writing. The narrator, as well as every single character, were hysterical, neurotic, tedious and full of pathos. Everyone tried to philosophize and failed miserably (you too, Mrs. Glasgow!) The characters make you want to punch them, because they speak like this:
'Do you know what's wrong with us?' he demanded abruptly. In th
Christine Sinclair
This novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1942, and although it is a bit dated, it's still a good read. The film that was based on it starred Olivia De Havilland as Roy and Bette Davis as Stanley (the younger, prettier one!). Why the daughters have boys names is never mentioned or explained. Hmmm. Good story with interesting characters, but a bit too much philosophizing for my taste. (I love the edition I bought on E-bay, a Franklin Library book bound in green leather with gilding on the cover and th ...more
Donna Jo Atwood
This book won the Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1942. I read it as part of the 2009 Spring Challenge.
in This Our Life takes place at the end of the Depression (or the beginning of the reader's depression, brought on be reading it). The characters are hopeless, the situation is hopeless, the dialogue is hopeless. Let's put a black binding on it and call it quits.
I didn't like this book!

Read 15.5 Reading Challenge
Jul 13, 2009 Kelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulitzer-project
I'm not sure I have ever hated a character the way I hated Stanley Timberlake.
Pulitzer winner from 1942.
Oh boy! I love the reviews. Just my sort of lemonade.
Jan 05, 2013 Thom rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Feb 28, 2011 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. However, there was something unsatisfying about the ending.
Jerry Pogan
Not the type of book I enjoy reading. A bit slow and boring, however, the writing was good with many good passages.
Mar 15, 2013 Margaret rated it liked it
Shelves: books-to-movies
I vacillated between 3 and four stars. This novel consists mostly of the interior thoughts of the characters, although there is an arc to the plot. The characters ask a lot of internal questions - a device that grew old for me as nothing was ever answered. This novel is certainly depressing, and only a couple of the characters are likable. Stanley is a self-centered egoist who always gets the sympathy of her mother and uncle. Asa, the father, is the most sympathetic character, but is weak. The s ...more
Tracy Shapley
May 12, 2012 Tracy Shapley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulitzer
In This Our Life is one of the last Pulitzers I had left to read. It’s taken me this long because the book is out of print and there aren’t a ton of copies available. Really, this is not surprising given how utterly boring the book is.

There’s both a lot going on in the story and also not much of anything. I really just couldn’t muster two licks of giving a shit about these privileged, whiny characters. They did seem to be even more bored with their own lives than I was, which is saying something
Feb 02, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel that won Glasgow the Pulitzer and her last novel, In This Our Life follows the plight of a family in which a young woman is willing to let a black chauffeur studying law in the novel take the blame for an accident in which she kills another person. It was made into a major motion picture starring Bette Davis. The conflict between the reckless sister and the responsible one takes up most of the plot in the novel, as one always wants what the other one has.
Sep 15, 2014 Marty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The 1942 Pulitzer Prize novel, this book was yet another of the ones we have read that is decidedly deserving of the Prize. This was a tough read because the the emotions evoked - at times you both loved and hated the book. Some of the characters made you want to smack them - others filled you with empathy. Excellent, albeit somewhat painful read.
Winner of the 1942 Pulitzer for Novel. The book starts out slow and finally gets interesting in the last 100 pages. The book has an ending that leaves you asking for a few more details. What ultimately happened to the characters?
John Guffey
" 'Nobody can save any one else.' God knows, she thought, I've learned that much."

The writing was really good in this book, but many of the characters felt stale. The plot was very slow paced, and it took me much too long to get through.
Jul 05, 2013 Ashley rated it it was ok
Of all of the Pulitzer novels I've read thus far, this was to me a weaker selection. Filled with mostly unlikable characters, many of whom self-medicate, in addition to two females with male names that I had a horrible time keeping straight, it was a book that I found to not be very engaging.
Betty Adams
Somber is the only adjective I can use to describe this tale of the post-Depression South. I didn't know whether to love the main character or shake him. I imagine it was ground-breaking in its day, but it depressed me.
Oct 01, 2013 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: everything-else
Wonderful writing with beautifully drawn characters, but just too depressing for me to finish. I quite halfway through. I couldn't bear it.
Jan 30, 2015 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Plot driven book that sermonizes here and there. Better at plot than philosophy. Do people really talk like that?
James Rosenzweig
Sep 16, 2013 James Rosenzweig rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My final review can be found on my blog:
Tony rated it it was amazing
Apr 08, 2013
Togan Helmy
Togan Helmy rated it really liked it
Jul 24, 2015
يوسف rated it really liked it
Oct 08, 2013
Tracy rated it liked it
Oct 02, 2012
Pawan Jain
Pawan Jain rated it it was amazing
Oct 26, 2014
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aka Ellen Anderson Gholson Glasgow

Born into an upper-class Virginian family, Glasgow rebelled at an early age against traditional expectations of women, becoming a best-selling author of 20 novels, the last of which (In This Our Life) won a Pulitzer Prize in 1942.

The majority of her novels have Southern settings, reflecting her awareness of the enormous social and economic changes occuring in t
More about Ellen Glasgow...

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“Human nature. I don’t like human nature, but I do like human beings.” 887 likes
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