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The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
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The Secret Scripture (2008)

by Sebastian Barry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: McNulty Family (4)

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2,0931293,157 (3.86)244
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» See also 244 mentions

English (121)  Dutch (6)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (129)
Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
'the one thing that is fatal in the reading of impromptu history is a wrongful desire for accuracy. There is no such thing'
By sally tarbox on 5 April 2012
Format: Paperback
Beautifully written novel; two journals are interposed- one that of a 100 year old woman in an Irish mental hospital, the other that of her doctor who has his own demons.
Taking us vividly to the troubled times in early 20th century Ireland, the killings, the power of the Catholic church, Barry has created an unputdownable read.
I felt it was spoilt, though, by the ending which pulled everything too nicely together and which is obvious to the reader quite a while before it happens.
'We like to characterise humanity as savage, lustful and basic, but that is to make strangers of everyone. We are not wolves, but lambs astonished in the margins of the fields by sunlight and summer.' ( )
  starbox | Jul 10, 2016 |
3.5 Stars ( )
  Andrew-theQM | Jun 20, 2016 |
Well read by Stephen Hogan.The story was compelling and told from two points of view. The old lady reliving her life, and her psychiatrist, trying to piece together her history. I thought the ending a little far fetched, but a recommended book that tells of Irish history, the power of the Catholic Church and the treatment of mental illness in days gone by. I will now read the author's other novels involving the characters brought alive in this book. ( )
  .cris | May 31, 2016 |
This book has taken me a long time to read. Almost till the end I hesitated if I should continue reading.
It wasn't a bad book, but to be honest, it was mostly curiosity that kept me reading. That's not bad either, but for me that is a rare thing.

Anyway: I'm happy to have finished, this story about Roseanne. No more curiosity left for other family members though. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 15, 2016 |
Listened on audio while making snail trail quilt. Excellent story, great characters, narrator was wonderful. Great twist at the end. A little hard to follow, had to start over after leaving while on vacation. ( )
  KathyGilbert | Jan 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sebastian Barryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rosenbloom, MiriamCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The greatest imperfection is in out inward sight that is to be ghosts unto our own eyes.
--Sir Thomas Browne Christian Morals

Of the numbers who study or at least read history, how few derive any advantage from their labours! . . . Besides there is much uncertainty even in the best authenticated ancient and modern histories; and that love of truth, which in some minds is innate and immutable, necessarily leads to a love of secret memoirs and private anecdotes.
--Maria Edgeworth, Preface to Castle Rackrent
Dedication
For Margaret Synge
First words
The world begins anew with every birth, my father used to say.
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Book description
Nearing her one-hundredth birthday, Roseanne McNulty faces an uncertain future, as the Roscommon Regional Mental hospital where she's spent the best part of her adult life prepares for closure. Over the weeks leading up to this upheaval, she talks often with her psychiatrist Dr. Grene, and their relationship intensifies and complicates. Told through their respective journals, the story that emerges is at once shocking and deeply beautiful. Refracted through the haze of memory and retelling, Roseanne's story becomes an alternative, secret history of Ireland's changing character and the story of a life blighted by terrible mistreatment and ignorance, and yet marked still by love and passion and hope.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143115693, Paperback)

An epic story of family, love, and unavoidable tragedy from the two-time Man Booker Prize finalist

Sebastian Barry 's novels have been hugely admired by readers and critics, and in 2005 his novel A Long Long Way was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In The Secret Scripture, Barry revisits County Sligo, Ireland, the setting for his previous three books, to tell the unforgettable story of Roseanne McNulty. Once one of the most beguiling women in Sligo, she is now a resident of Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital and nearing her hundredth year. Set against an Ireland besieged by conflict, The Secret Scripture is an engrossing tale of one woman's life, and a vivid reminder of the stranglehold that the Catholic church had on individuals throughout much of the twentieth century.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:09 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

This story pits two contradictory narratives against each other in an attempt to solve the mystery of a 100-year-old mental patient.

» see all 6 descriptions

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