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The Secret Scripture: A Novel by Sebastian…
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The Secret Scripture: A Novel (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Sebastian Barry

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2,0561263,238 (3.86)243
Member:SandSing7
Title:The Secret Scripture: A Novel
Authors:Sebastian Barry
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2009), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Irish Lit, nook, Historical Fiction

Work details

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry (2008)

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» See also 243 mentions

English (118)  Dutch (6)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (126)
Showing 1-5 of 118 (next | show all)
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 |
A touching story about an ancient, forgotten woman who has been living in a mental institution for most of her life. Why she ever came there has been forgotten.
The institution is closing down and the doctor in charge starts to take an interest in this woman and her life. At the same time as he questions her and looks into her life, she is writing her story in her own words.
This story ties in with The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty, a fabulous book set in the times of the Irish troubles.
This story looks at the life of another innocent caught up in a ruthless time by ruthless circumstances and people. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
I've left it too long to write this one up and my memory is unreliable just like Roseanne's. This is an Irish saga with all the elements and characters you might expect. There are twists and turns and gradual reveals, and even where some twists were well signposted others took me by surprise. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Jul 23, 2015 |
excellent, poetic Irish novel, told in almost alternating chapters by a 100 year old woman in an insane asylum and the supervising psychiatrist. Her chapters recount her history, and it is clear that she is not insane. Her story gives some glimpses into the troubles in Ireland in the 1920s... His chapters try to make sense of her story (she doesn't tell him much)... Beautifully written, and also beautifully read in the audio version. ( )
  DavidO1103 | Jun 19, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 118 (next | show all)
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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