The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

No. of pages: 312
Rating: 3/10

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.

Review: When the psychiatric hospital where Dr Grene works and Roseanne is a patient is due to be torn down, Dr Grene must assess all of the patients to see if they can be relocated back to the outside world. He becomes particularly fascinated with Roseanne and her story, and goes out of his way to find out why she was admitted to the hospital, but his actions bring to light unexpected secrets and revelations...

This book was such a disappointment. Before starting it, I read over the back cover again, to refresh my memory with what the story was about, and guessed what the big plot reveal would be before I had even started, and the sad thing is, I was correct! The story is so slow going, I thought after an incredibly slow start it would pick up, but the story plods along all throughout the book, flicking between Roseanne and Dr Grene. Another thing that annoyed me was that Roseanne was telling the story of her life, and Dr Grene was finding things out that were completely different, and you never find out which of the two is correct. Overall, I thought it had loads of potential, but it was too slow and too obvious, and was a complete let down.


alessandra said...

This is of course just my opinion about this, but I believe that the author's will is not to just tell a story with a line and a meaning but more to show how our own perception, in the end, is the real life maker.
Just think about your daily little life, where you might for example be lied about something but never find out. Now, the reality the lie covers up is none the less real but to you it doesn't even exist.
How and when do we draw the line? When is that we can say what is real or not? After all, even a whole bunch of imagination that only exists in your head still has an effect to you and your life, and doesn't that make it real?

Just my thought ^^

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