The Secret Scripture

The Secret Scripture

Book - 2008
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19
Baker & Taylor
Recording the events of her life from a mental hospital as her hundredth birthday approaches, Roseanne McNulty considers returning to society when she learns that the hospital is about to close, but her situation is complicated by the possibility that Roseanne remembers her life quite differently from what is documented in her patient records. 15,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
When she was 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 of her bedroom, she learns that Roscommon Hospital will be closed in a few months and that her caregiver, Dr. Greene, has been asked to evaluate the patients to decide if they can return to society. Roseanne is of particular interest to Dr. Greene, and as he researchers her case he discovers a document written by a local priest that tells a very different story of Roseanne's life from 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 strangle-hold that the Catholic Church had on individual lives throughout much of the twentieth century.

Baker
& Taylor

Recording the events of her life from a mental hospital as her hundredth birthday approaches, Roseanne McNulty considers returning to society when she learns that the hospital is about to close.

Publisher: New York : Viking, 2008
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780670019403
0670019402
Characteristics: 300 p. ; 22 cm

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Michaelene1
Oct 29, 2018

I didn't give this book a very high rating because it seemed to move so slowly. I got much more than halfway through before I felt like it was a page turner. However, I appreciate how beautifully written the book is and the story line. I would recommend the book as long as you are ok with a slow moving story.

i
Inga57
Oct 02, 2018

So, a quiet cloudy St. Paddy's day brought me to one of my favorite Irish author's, Sebastian Barry, for a second read of his book 'The Secret Scripture' which I first read back in 2013.

Then, as now, my eyes are leaking and my heart is full of gratitude for the talent of such a gifted writer to move his readers with such emotions.

r
rakeshseathu
Mar 30, 2017

A very slow start but language is rich and beautiful. Builds momentum around mid of the book and then it keeps you engaged till the end.

d
dbrh852
Jan 08, 2016

I would give this gem more stars if they were available. This is a well crafted story with memorable characters and remarkably gracious prose. Barry has created a female heroine with depth, compassion and mystery. This was a sad story, but it was worth it for the ending. Also, it was not a fast read, only because I wanted to savor the beautiful words and themes that Barry wove so skillfully into the story. I recommend it.

c
CmnThru
Nov 29, 2015

When visiting Ireland in 2010, a book store owner recommended Sebastian Barry's novels, so I bought and read "A Long Long Way." Loved his writing, so I read more. This is the fourth book of his I've read and loved. It had me hooked from beginning to end. Barry is really first rate.

w
Wong_Anne
Jun 09, 2015

Costa Book Award Winner – A female inmate of a hospital is nearing her 100th birthday and a young doctor seeks her history, resulting in the revelation of a shocking secret. I really enjoyed the unfolding of the story.

c
Chapel_Hill_KenMc
Dec 20, 2014

Beautifully written study in perspective and the relative terms of sanity and mental health. Women in 1920's Ireland faced a treacherous minefield of sexual repression and two-faced codes of morality, and those who strayed could find themselves confined in asylums.

d
druby
May 18, 2013

I found the author's writing style really difficult to read. There were many passages I had to read over and over again to understand the meaning.
Having said that I was intrigued from the start. It was interesting how Roseanne's accounts of her life differed from those uncovered by Dr. Grene. I had to read the book to the end to find out the truth and oh what an ending it was! The ending alone made it worth the read.

Jane60201 Dec 26, 2012

A really interesting and well written book by an Irish author whom I was not aware of. Will look for more by him.

p
PansyT
Dec 19, 2012

Such a wonderful writer! He is a master of the language, worth reading and re-reading for his turn of phrase alone. Highly recommended.

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