Search This Blog

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Secret Scripture

The Secret Scripture
Sebastian Barry
Viking, 2008

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. Her therapist, Dr. Grene, hardly knows her yet he must decide whether Roseanne is sane enough to rejoin the community. Alternating journal entries tell the story of these two people: one who is the victim of the tumultuous political climate in Ireland’s past, and one who is grieving for his dead wife while attempting to do what’s right for his patient.

This quiet but powerful story is not a page turner, but it has a lyrical rhythm and poetic language that makes it hard to put down. The character of Roseanne is skillfully and sympathetically portrayed. Is she really insane or was she committed because it served others to have her silenced? As Dr. Grene investigates her past, he discovers that the parish priest was instrumental in the events that caused her personal tragedy, but he also discovers that his own life has been affected by Roseanne’s in ways he never imagined.


Other books by this author:
Annie Dunn (2003)
A Long, Long Way (2005)

Other titles you may enjoy:

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell (2006)
Iris Lockhart receives news that her great-aunt Esme is being released from Cauldstone Hospital, where she has been confined for more than sixty years, and soon discovers that Esme holds the key to long-hidden family secrets that could change her life forever.

The Vineyard by Barbara Delinsky (2000)
A woman and her daughter accept an invitation to spend the summer on a vineyard to help the owner, a widow, write her memoir. They soon learn that all is not as it seems at the vineyard.

Love and Summer by William Trevor (2009)
Living an unfulfilling existence at the side of a tragic husband, shy orphan Ellie Dillahan begins an affair that forces her to choose between an uncertain future with the man she loves and the desolate life she has built for herself.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds interesting.....I might have to give it a try!