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The Secret Scripture

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The Secret Scripture Cover

ISBN13: 9780670019403
ISBN10: 0670019402
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A gorgeous new novel from the author of the Man Booker finalist A Long Long Way.

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.

Review:

"The latest from Barry (whose A Long Way was shortlisted for the 2005 Booker) pits two contradictory narratives against each other in an attempt to solve the mystery of a 100-year-old mental patient. That patient, Roseanne McNulty, decides to undertake an autobiography and writes of an ill-fated childhood spent with her father, Joe Clear. A cemetery superintendent, Joe is drawn into Ireland's 1922 civil war when a group of irregulars brings a slain comrade to the cemetery and are discovered by a division of Free-Staters. Meanwhile, Roseanne's psychiatrist, Dr. Grene, investigating Roseanne's original commitment in preparation for her transfer to a new hospital, discovers through the papers of the local parish priest, Fr. Gaunt, that Roseanne's father was actually a police sergeant in the Royal Irish Constabulary. The mysteries multiply when Roseanne reveals that Fr. Gaunt annulled her marriage after glimpsing her in the company of another man; Gaunt's official charge was nymphomania, and the cumulative fallout led to a string of tragedies. Written in captivating, lyrical prose, Barry's novel is both a sparkling literary puzzle and a stark cautionary tale of corrupted power. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[T]he most exhilarating prose stylist in Irish fiction — which just about makes him, by definition, the best prose writer in the English language....The Secret Scripture fits seamlessly into a vision that seeks to restore with language that which has been taken away by history." Allen Barra, Salon.com

Review:

"Barry beautifully braids together the convoluted threads of his narrative." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Acclaimed author Sebastian Barry has written an elegant and intelligent novel of love, murder, betrayal and sacrifice. It's a thought-provoking look at the destructive power of well-intentioned people to destroy lives and the redemptive power of truth to heal, no matter how long it takes." BookReporter.com

Review:

"This is a powerful story, and Barry tells it compellingly....Many versions of Roseanne's life are presented in The Secret Scripture, and the reader is given the pleasure and the challenge of unwinding this complex and beautiful skein." Hartford Courant

Synopsis:

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 20th century.

Synopsis:

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.

Soon to be a film starring Jessica Chastain and Vanessa Redgrave.

About the Author

Sebastian Barry is a playwright whose work has been produced in London, Dublin, Sydney, and New York. His novel A Long Long Way was a finalist for the 2005 Man Booker Prize. His other novels include The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty and Annie Dunne.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Krista Smith-Moroziuk, May 22, 2009 (view all comments by Krista Smith-Moroziuk)
This is the best book I have read in a long time. Sebastian Barry has written a powerful tale that will stay with you for a long time. It will grip you and haunt you. As barry says "...we are each the hero of a peculiar half-ruined film called our life."
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780670019403
Author:
Barry, Sebastian
Publisher:
Viking Adult
Subject:
Sligo (Ireland: County)
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Biographical fiction
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20080612
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.56x5.80x1.09 in. .92 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Secret Scripture Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Viking Books - English 9780670019403 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The latest from Barry (whose A Long Way was shortlisted for the 2005 Booker) pits two contradictory narratives against each other in an attempt to solve the mystery of a 100-year-old mental patient. That patient, Roseanne McNulty, decides to undertake an autobiography and writes of an ill-fated childhood spent with her father, Joe Clear. A cemetery superintendent, Joe is drawn into Ireland's 1922 civil war when a group of irregulars brings a slain comrade to the cemetery and are discovered by a division of Free-Staters. Meanwhile, Roseanne's psychiatrist, Dr. Grene, investigating Roseanne's original commitment in preparation for her transfer to a new hospital, discovers through the papers of the local parish priest, Fr. Gaunt, that Roseanne's father was actually a police sergeant in the Royal Irish Constabulary. The mysteries multiply when Roseanne reveals that Fr. Gaunt annulled her marriage after glimpsing her in the company of another man; Gaunt's official charge was nymphomania, and the cumulative fallout led to a string of tragedies. Written in captivating, lyrical prose, Barry's novel is both a sparkling literary puzzle and a stark cautionary tale of corrupted power. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[T]he most exhilarating prose stylist in Irish fiction — which just about makes him, by definition, the best prose writer in the English language....The Secret Scripture fits seamlessly into a vision that seeks to restore with language that which has been taken away by history."
"Review" by , "Barry beautifully braids together the convoluted threads of his narrative."
"Review" by , "Acclaimed author Sebastian Barry has written an elegant and intelligent novel of love, murder, betrayal and sacrifice. It's a thought-provoking look at the destructive power of well-intentioned people to destroy lives and the redemptive power of truth to heal, no matter how long it takes."
"Review" by , "This is a powerful story, and Barry tells it compellingly....Many versions of Roseanne's life are presented in The Secret Scripture, and the reader is given the pleasure and the challenge of unwinding this complex and beautiful skein."
"Synopsis" by , 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 20th century.
"Synopsis" by ,
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.

Soon to be a film starring Jessica Chastain and Vanessa Redgrave.

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