Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry - Old Review

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

Published: 1st May 2008
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Genre: Historical Fiction / Cultural: Ireland / Mystery
Page Count: 312

Synopsis: As 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 in her bedroom, she learns that Roscommon Hospital will be closed in a few months and that her caregiver, Dr. Grene, has been asked to evaluate the patients and decide if they can return to society. Roseanne is of particular interest to Dr. Grene, and as he researches her case he discovers a document written by a local priest that tells a very different story of Roseanne’s life than 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 stranglehold that the Catholic Church had on individual lives for much of the twentieth century.

4 / 5 stars
I read The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry with my book club at college and I honestly didn't expect much from it. I selected this out of the two book choices we were given because I'm partial to mental hospitals as I find the history of them very interesting.

Whilst this book was set in a mental hospital, the story actually focused on the patient having flash backs of her life in Ireland, which wasn't too bad considering it wasn't reason for me picking up the book. The tale of her life was interesting and as the story progresses little things start to add up here and there.

Though I must say whilst I enjoyed the book, the ending felt forced, somewhat pushed, as there were a lot of coincidences to get all the loose ends to tie up but I guess in a way it was clever.

Please note I read this book way back in 2011 but wanted to share it here regardless of my review being on the short side and brief!

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