The Sheltered Life
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The Sheltered Life

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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  60 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The Sheltered Life, " writes Carol S. Manning in her Afterword to this new paperback edition, is "a jewel of American literature and deserves recognition as a masterpiece of the Southern Renaissance." It is a remarkably unsentimental look at the old South, a society that blindly holds to past values enforced by a strict code of conduct, being overtaken by the new age of in...more
Paperback, 329 pages
Published January 29th 1994 by University of Virginia Press (first published 1932)
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Rita
Jun 25, 2007 Rita rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: american-fiction
Great story [publ. 1932] portraying growing up in the Old South [Richmond, Virginia] before WW II. For a woman, why being beautiful was almost everything, and for everyone, how crucial keeping up appearances was, more important than anything else.

I like Glasgow's term for this kind of pretending, or insincerity: "evasive idealism".

Glasgow shows us how this works through the eyes of a 9 year old girl and her 79 year old grandfather. It explains a lot!
Lindsey
This reads like a YA novel with an existential undertone. Glasgow takes her theme about the destructiveness of social conventions that require people to do their duty and keep up appearances, and she beats the reader over the head with it.

The book is divided into three parts, and the middle part is more of a prose piece in which the aging General Archbald reflects on a missed chance that could have led to happiness, if propriety hadn't got in the way. This is a lovely little detour from the suf...more
Angela
I would have given this 3 1/2 stars. I liked the story but it could have used a better editor. It tended to repeat itself in fact or sometimes just in theme. Forty or so pages could have been trimmed off without affecting the story. I would compare in style to Edith Wharton. It is interesting that some of the details in this book parallel Glasgow's own life. Specifically, the description of Eva Birdsong is the same as that made by the author of her mother.
Elaine
My affection for this book grew the more that I read. Initially, prose had sounded flowery and stilted to me but gradually I became accustomed to Glasgow's style. I think that some of the main characters will remain in my memory and those memories will be poignant as the book ends in a tragic and shocking event and its repercussions for the 4 main characters are memorable.
☯Bettie☯
Mar 06, 2014 ☯Bettie☯ rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Wanda
Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Judy Bainbridge
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica
I probably should have found this more interesting than I did, considering it's set in Richmond, but I had a very difficult time getting into this book. It had all the plot elements of a "juicy" story, but the writing failed to engage.
K Krause
Makes you realize no one is truly "sheltered" from life or from themselves.
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155811
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
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In This Our Life Barren Ground Vein of Iron Virginia The Romantic Comedians

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