Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Sheltered Life” as Want to Read:
The Sheltered Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Sheltered Life

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  9 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.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Sheltered Life, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Sheltered Life

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
357th out of 772 books — 1,856 voters
The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellBrave New World by Aldous HuxleyThe Grapes of Wrath by John SteinbeckOf Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Best Books of the Decade: 1930s
216th out of 361 books — 538 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 202)
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!
Sep 01, 2014 Lizzie marked it as to-read
I really want to try her out and this sort of sounds like the one that might most easily strike my fancy, though Virginia is the one on the 500 women list, and In This Our Life is the Pulitzer winner. Curious. Like some kind of Wharton-Faulkner mashup sounding sort of thing.
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
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.
Stephanie Blackwood
Stephanie Blackwood marked it as to-read
Nov 19, 2014
Donna Carter
Donna Carter marked it as to-read
Nov 09, 2014
Cheryll Moreau
Cheryll Moreau marked it as to-read
Sep 30, 2014
Annika marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2014
Libby marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2014
Pam marked it as to-read
Sep 22, 2014
Wendy marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2014
Kate marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2014
Becky marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2014
Gigi added it
Sep 12, 2014
Dr. Bones
Dr. Bones marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2014
Yee-Ning S.
Yee-Ning S. marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2014
Isabel Wescoat
Isabel Wescoat marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2014
Suzanne marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2014
Becaria - lac
Becaria - lac is currently reading it
Sep 01, 2014
Angela Lewis
Angela Lewis marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2014
Dominique Vaugeois
Dominique Vaugeois marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2014
Rhonda Godbold
Rhonda Godbold marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Curtain of Green and Other Stories
  • Strange Fruit
  • Life in the Iron Mills and Other Stories
  • The Call of the Toad
  • A New England Nun and Other Stories
  • A Vocation and a Voice: Stories
  • The Midnight
  • One by One in the Darkness
  • The Tragic Muse
  • Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz; The Road to Oz; The Emerald City of Oz - Book 2
  • The Mountain Lion
  • Over Nine Waves: A Book of Irish Legends
  • The Rains Came
  • The Good Husband
  • HERmione
  • Lancelot
  • Seraph on the Suwanee
  • An Atlas of the Difficult World
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...
In This Our Life Barren Ground Vein of Iron Virginia The Shadowy Third

Share This Book

“The only natural human beings seem to be those who are making trouble.” 3 likes
More quotes…