The Secret Scripture

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The Secret Scripture

by SEBASTIAN BARRY

Viking USA | July 27, 2010 | Hardcover

The Secret Scripture is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 5.
A gorgeous new novel from the author of the Man Booker finalist A Long Long Way
As a young woman, Roseanne McNulty was one of the most beautiful and beguiling girls in County Sligo, Ireland. Now, as her hundredth year draws near, she is a patient at Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital, and she decides to record the events of her life.
As Roseanne revisits her past, hiding the manuscript beneath the floorboards in her bedroom, she learns that Roscommon Hospital will be closed in a few months and that her caregiver, Dr. Grene, has been asked to evaluate the patients and decide if they can return to society. Roseanne is of particular interest to Dr. Grene, and as he researches her case he discovers a document written by a local priest that tells a very different story of Roseanne's life than what she recalls. As doctor and patient attempt to understand each other, they begin to uncover long-buried secrets about themselves.
Set against an Ireland besieged by conflict, "The Secret Scripture" is an epic story of love, betrayal, and unavoidable tragedy, and a vivid reminder of the stranglehold that the Catholic Church had on individual lives for much of the twentieth century.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 304 pages, 8.56 × 5.8 × 1.09 in

Published: July 27, 2010

Publisher: Viking USA

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670019402

ISBN - 13: 9780670019403

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Predictable but nice My heading should say it all. It was a nice story but predictable. To give the novel as well as the character of the psychiatrist more depth, the author chose to include a tragic event in this character's life. I think this was unnecessary and prolonged the novel where it didn't need to.
Date published: 2010-02-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great premise... This story was beautifully written and the reader becomes drawn into Roseanne's plight..the injustices brought onto her by the Catholic church in Ireland at that time. I loved the fact that at 100 years of age, she decides to tell her story. Sebastian Barry is a very talented writer and I will definately read his other novels.
Date published: 2009-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from GOOD READ Reads like a mystery novel....questions your own sanity....activates your compassion....opens your eyes to more recent Irish history.....surprise ending. Hurrah for Roseanne!
Date published: 2009-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry Book Review of The Secret Scripture by Annette Dunlea This book is now available in paperback, published by Faber and Faber and its ISBN is: 0571215297. It was short listed for the man Booker Prize 2008 and won the Costa Book of The Year 2008. It is literary Irish fiction at its best. It records the past dominance of church in secular relations and the maltreatment of women in the hands of men. The story is heard in two voices the elderly Roseanne Mc Nulty a patient and Dr.Greene a psychiatrist. Roseanne is a very old woman who records her secret history in her secret journal and in vivid poetic prose. The doctor is forced to re-evaluate his patients in the asylum and see if they can be released into the community, therein lies the plot of the tale. Our purpose is to discover the reason for Roseanne’s admission and in doing so we get a history of Irish life in Sligo in 1930. Dr. Greene too records his interviews with Roseanne. His voice is in a different more modern tone to hers. He is an independent impartial observer to her tale. Gentle not to upset her he teases information from her and so we are left to discover the truth for ourselves. The paradox of the imperfection of human memory as opposed to the factual written word is show here. She develops a wonderful relationship with the doctor based on empathy. He too is grieving the death of his wife and his own imperfection as being the ultimate healer. Roseanne was a beauty in her day living on the outskirts of society who has been maltreated by her community. By recording her tale she gives a voice to the woman who was institutionalized by priests and by society unjustly. In recording her annals she healed herself. She is not so much a victim as a survivor. While some were dismayed by the ending I enjoyed the novel for me it is a wonderful tale on compassionate, love, life and on human inter relations. It is story telling and dialogue at its best. What he records is important but equally so is his eloquent language. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap
Date published: 2009-05-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Is Our Memory Reliable? The 100 year old patient Roseanne Clear, who was once the most beautiful girl in Sligo Ireland is now confined to a mental institution. She tells her curious life story in a secret manuscript. Has she really lost her sanity or was her committal unjustified? That’s what Dr Green, her every day visitor, caregiver and psychiatrist has to find out. Are the few remaining documents lying or is her memory failing? But “what is wrong about her account if she sincerely believes it?”
Date published: 2008-09-27

– More About This Product –

The Secret Scripture

by SEBASTIAN BARRY

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 304 pages, 8.56 × 5.8 × 1.09 in

Published: July 27, 2010

Publisher: Viking USA

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670019402

ISBN - 13: 9780670019403

From the Publisher

A gorgeous new novel from the author of the Man Booker finalist A Long Long Way
As a young woman, Roseanne McNulty was one of the most beautiful and beguiling girls in County Sligo, Ireland. Now, as her hundredth year draws near, she is a patient at Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital, and she decides to record the events of her life.
As Roseanne revisits her past, hiding the manuscript beneath the floorboards in her bedroom, she learns that Roscommon Hospital will be closed in a few months and that her caregiver, Dr. Grene, has been asked to evaluate the patients and decide if they can return to society. Roseanne is of particular interest to Dr. Grene, and as he researches her case he discovers a document written by a local priest that tells a very different story of Roseanne's life than what she recalls. As doctor and patient attempt to understand each other, they begin to uncover long-buried secrets about themselves.
Set against an Ireland besieged by conflict, "The Secret Scripture" is an epic story of love, betrayal, and unavoidable tragedy, and a vivid reminder of the stranglehold that the Catholic Church had on individual lives for much of the twentieth century.

About the Author

Sebastian Barry is a playwright whose work has been produced in London, Dublin, Sydney, and New York. He lives in Wicklow, Ireland, with his wife and three children.