The Secret Scripture
By (author) Sebastian Barry
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Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
Book DescriptionNearing 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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Book DetailsISBN: 9780571215287
(241mm x 161mm x 28mm)
Imprint: Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publish Date: 1-May-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Sebastian Barry
Days Without End, Paperback (July 2017)
After signing up for the US army in the 1950s, aged barely seventeen, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, fight in the Indian Wars and the Civil War. Having both fled terrible hardships, their days are now vivid and filled with wonder, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in.
Long Long Way, Paperback (March 2016)
Leaving Dublin to fight for the Allied cause as a member of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, he finds himself caught between the war playing out on foreign fields and that festering at home, waiting to erupt with the Easter Rising.
Secret Scripture, Paperback (March 2015)» View all books by Sebastian Barry
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.
US Kirkus Review » A subtle study of psychology, religion, family and politics in Ireland.This is not, as the title might suggest, another Da Vinci Code clone. Barry (A Long Long Way, 2005, etc.) writes vigorously and passionately about his native land. The story is told antiphonally, alternating narratives between a secret journal (hidden beneath the floorboard) kept by Roseanne McNulty, a patient in a mental hospital, and the "Commonplace Book" of her psychiatrist Dr. Grene, who's dealing with serious issues of grief after the death of his wife. Roseanne has always been something of an outsider, her father a cemetery-keeper and rat-catcher but most importantly a Protestant in a land largely hostile to this religious orientation. Although Roseanne remembers a happy childhood, in which she was the proverbial apple of her father's eye, he becomes involved in the political and military entanglements of Irish political life. When Roseanne grows up, she becomes the wife of Tom McNulty, but through a series of misunderstandings - as well as through the machinations of the grim-faced and soul-destroying priest, Fr. Gaunt - she is as good as accused (though falsely) of adultery with the son of a political rebel. Out of malice toward Protestants as well as out of a misplaced moral absolutism, Fr. Gaunt has her marriage annulled - and, using nymphomania to explain her "condition," has her locked up in the asylum. Dr. Grene gets interested in her story as well as her history, and in tracking down her past he finds a secret that she has kept hidden for many years, a secret that affects them both and that intertwines their families. In a final assessment of Roseanne - after she's spent decades in the asylum - Dr. Grene determines that she is "blameless." She responds: "'Blameless? I hardly think that is given to any mortal being.'" Indeed, blamelessness is a state no one achieves in this novel.Barry beautifully braids together the convoluted threads of his narrative. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Sebastian Barry
Sebastian Barry was born in Dublin in 1955. His plays include Our Lady of Sligo and The Pride of Parnell Street, and his novels, Annie Dunne and most recently, A Long Long Way. He has won numerous awards, among them the London Critics Circle Award, and now lives in Wicklow with his family.
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