The Secret Scripture is the entwined story of Roseanne McNulty, a 100-year-old mental patient, and Dr. Grene, who is desultorily trying to figure how Roseanne came to live in the institute and whether she really belongs there after all. The story is told through Roseanne’s secret diary and Dr. Grene’s journal.
Roseanne tells a harrowing tale of growing up in civil war Ireland, her tragic marriage, and the unfortunate events that culminated in her institutionalization. Grene is drawn to Roseanne and her sad history as he struggles with his own failed marriage and personal grief.
Barry is an incredibly talented storyteller. He spins a yarn that is wide sweeping, but so compellingly detailed that the reader smells the salt wind of western Ireland and hears the rustle of the meddling priest’s rusty cassock. Even though the ending may not come as a surprise, there is great satisfaction to be had from the way the clues nest so snugly together.
OTHER REVIEWSWendy at caribousmom
Mel at The Book Nook
(If you would like your review of this book, or any others by Sebastian Barry, please leave a comment with a link and I will list it here.)
NOTEThis is the James Tait Black Memorial Prize winner that I read for the Battle of the Prizes, British Version. I’m hosting the challenge, so it is about time I read a book for it.