The Sheltered Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Sheltered Life

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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Help by Kathryn StockettThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Best Southern Literature
343rd out of 715 books — 1,679 voters
The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Grapes of Wrath by John SteinbeckBrave New World by Aldous HuxleyOf Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Best Books of the Decade: 1930s
192nd out of 336 books — 444 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 169)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maribel marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2014
Huma marked it as to-read
Apr 14, 2014
Sami Sayed
Sami Sayed marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2014
Fernando is currently reading it
Mar 28, 2014
Roithamer marked it as to-read
Mar 27, 2014
Rebecca marked it as to-read
Mar 23, 2014
Terry Everett
Terry Everett marked it as to-read
Mar 09, 2014
Carilu marked it as to-read
Feb 27, 2014
Christina Browne
Christina Browne marked it as to-read
Feb 15, 2014
Tina marked it as to-read
Jan 17, 2014
Carla marked it as to-read
Jan 13, 2014
Katie marked it as to-read
Jan 13, 2014
Autumn is currently reading it
Jan 03, 2014
Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Dec 25, 2013
Grok Testuser
Grok Testuser is currently reading it
Dec 13, 2013
Elis marked it as to-read
Dec 12, 2013
Evelyn Powell Garcia
Evelyn Powell Garcia marked it as to-read
Dec 06, 2013
Brandy marked it as to-read
Nov 12, 2013
Jeff Hobbs
Jeff Hobbs marked it as to-read
Nov 11, 2013
George marked it as to-read
Nov 10, 2013
Leah Konen
Leah Konen marked it as to-read
Nov 05, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
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
More about Ellen Glasgow...
In This Our Life Barren Ground Vein of Iron Virginia The Romantic Comedians

Share This Book

“The only natural human beings seem to be those who are making trouble.” 2 likes
More quotes…