Sebastian Barry: The Secret Scripture



Of official records A little apocryphal gospel which readers get second hand via Dr Grene and which are further muddied when the octor realises he s filling in gaps that Fr Gaunt Matti In the Wallet did not Another layer of embroideryAnd what about the unknown hand who brought all the narratives together Howo we untangle the truth Which version of the tower and feathers and hammers is true Could it even be bothWhy are they writingNo plot spoilers just background notes and Raised in Captivity detail view spoiler Roseanne wants an honest minded history of myself because My secrets are my fortune and my sanity She has experienced theire conseuences of gossip and presumption than once so There must be accuracy and rightness Dr Grene s writing is an extension of his work a Think (Ars Lamina) Level 2 Workbook distraction from personal loss and a sign of ongoing inner life that triggers ideas and insight Fr Gaunt sesire to tell the story illuminates it He is unburdening himself as he might a sin A person without stories that outlive them becomes lost to family lost to history sad black names on within family trees with half a Two Brothers, One Tail dateangling after and a uestion mark Roseanne s father relished telling stories from his life but mother is singularly without stories and eventually mute She vanishes from the story hide spoiler Last month my book club read Sebastian Barry s Days Without End and we all loved it unconditionally That almost never happens So our hostess up for the April read ecided to assign another of Barry s books although she had some reservations that it might compare unfavorably to the one we thought so highly of How can it possibly be as good she askedShe needn t have worried because it was as good but in a ifferent way The language was still soaring and poetic the characters just as soulful and the story What a storyThe tale is told through two journals one by the psychiatrist needing to assess an elderly patient before the insane asylum she has been in for 60 years is Why Americas Top Pundits Are Wrong demolished and the other by the patient herself 100 year old Roseanne Clear or McNultyepending on whose story can be believed There is also a brief Citizen Cain deposition by the Catholic priest responsible for her incarceration and for many of her woes and I sincerely hope there is a special place in Hell reserved for himThis is a multi layered novel with little bits of truth and understanding poking through every once in a while Even so I had to read the climax four times just to believe it I still get chills thinking about itEven though the setting is from 1907 2007 it reads like a Victorian novel maybe because of the handwritten journals and the Irish localesThis was a completeeparture from some of my other recent reading and I was completely swept up in the story So much so that I continue to wish Father Gaunt consigned to that special place in Hell A superbly crafted novel told in under 300 pages A story so cleverly written that for half of the Novel I believed I was rea For history as far as I can see is not the arrangement of what happens in seuence and in truth but a fabulous arrangement of surmises and guesses held up as a banner against the assault of withering truthThe Secret Scripture is a sublime work of fiction about memory and its effect on history and truth It s about love and loss grief religion and Ireland It nearly broke my heart but left me with a glimpse of joy and hope It s a slow unraveling of the mystery surrounding the reason why Roseanne McNulty has been institutionalized at the Ro Sexuality in beautiful young women in backward societies is a Trail of Secrets double edged sword On the one hand it attracts young men sometimes into marriage and on the other it can seem to justify the accusation of being called a slut And should the woman have a baby outside marriage then the accusation is proved and the girl condemned and if punishment follows it will be considered validatedIt s not muchifferent today is it Call a girl a slut and people look at her askance Not a nice person not someone you How to Train a Cowboy d want to mix with But today the punishment is generally only social exclusion from hypocritical social groups Back then in the time of this book after the Civil War in Ireland it could mean being locked up in mental home for the rest of their livesAnd now the girl the woman the old lady who is a century old is telling her tale to heroctor He is a gentle understanding unfulfilled man who is One Special Moment doing his best for his patients who now these old institutions are beingissolved must re enter the world or adapt to a modern mental homeHe listens to Roseanne s story he asks people about her and A Touch of Persuasion (Men Of Wolff Mountain discovers aocument that tells a Watch for Me by Moonlight (The Midnight Twins, different story from her conversation But there is still another story the one she is writing of her life and hiding in the floorboards These stories and theoctor s intertwine and they both learn far about each other than they ever could have suspected It s uite an eye opening ending and in retrospect that is what the story is leading to all along but I found it too pat I thought the story of Roseanne and the Troubles with all the violence and wickedness of those timeswere good enough to stand on their own without a contrived conclusion So 4 stars 45 stars Ok I really enjoyed it 5 stars. F 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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I was first introduced to Sebastian Barry with Days Without End published in 2016 and winner of the Costa Book Award and a Booker nominee Days Without End hit me like a ton of bricksso fabulously written and such a tale Did I ever imagine that another of his books could become so beloved Well the Secret Scripture has But it also made me REAL ANGRYSet after the Irish Civil War Roseanne Clear McNulty is about to turn 100 years old and wants to tell her story Roseanne has spent most of her adult life confined to a psychiatric hospital in Ireland under tragic circumstances She is the victim of Father Gaunt the Irish Catholic priest of her village Condemned for only talking to another man other than her new husband the priest has made her out to be an adulteress and she looses everything Father Gaunt represents everything I hate about the Catholic Church The power priests in Ireland had over women the abuse the repression of sexuality and its people As a non practicing Irish Catholic I get so angry and isturbed by these fanatics I hate shelf righteous religious people always black or white always their way as there is no other Their opinion is the only one that exists I understand this so well as I was brought up in a born again Catholic family Sebastian Barry tells this heart wrenching story so well The Secret Scripture which also won the 2008 Costa Award and Booker Prize nomination is beautifully written and so poetic The ending was uite unexpected I listened to the audio as the narrator s brogue is so The Convicts Bounty Bride (Convict Wives delightful Barry an Irish playwright novelist and poet has become one of my favorite authors Recently he took over the title of Irish Poet Laureate from Anne Enwright another of Ireland s fabulous authorsIf you are interested in the troubled history of Ireland the Catholic Church s repression of their society or just reading a novel by one of the finest authors livingon t missHighly recommend5 out of 5 stars A wonderful poetic book about love and memory Also pain and loss and how you can miss the most important thing in the world even though it s right under your nose Ireland too of courseWe re all innocent Roseanne locked up in an asylum for A River of Royal Blood (Untitled, decades for no reason or because she happened to be born with the wrong religion or because the jealous people around her find her beauty tooisturbing She never really knows why but she manages to forgive her tormentors anyway even the cruel Fr Gaunt At the same time we re poor Doctor Grene who s messed up his own life and those of three other people because he got runk one evening and acted without thinking of the conseuencesHe creates fantastic images The burning rat Her mother s clock The German planes flying low over the sea on their way to bomb Belfast The hammers and the feathers I can still see them falling Rose McNultry is almost 100 years old For most of her life she has been a patient in Roscommon Mental hospital in rural west Ireland This mad woman has lived here most of her adult life The hospital is going to be shut own and she is facing a scary future of being moved from where she has lived most of her life She has freuent talks with her therapistpsychiatrist in the weeks leading up to the hospital s closure Her therapists job is to The Palliser Novels determine what too with the patients left behind He needs to Men And Gods In Mongolia determine who is of sound mind but institutionalized against their will and who is mentally ill This also asks the uestion if you are sane when you are institutionalized will this prolonged treatment render you insaneRose has been keeping a journal of her life which she keeps hidden under the floorboards of her room She only takes her journals out when it is safe It is through her journal entries that we learn about her past Her relationship with her parents she had a loving father and a mother whoistances herself from her Hunter Killer (Pike Logan daughter Rose falls in love with a young Man who has aomineering Mother who Brazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckle Bastards, does not approve of her Catholic son being with a Presbyterian young woman Father Gaunt makes sure that Roseoes not marry the young man she is in love with The priest s misogyny mistrust and The Friend Zone dislike for women is Rose sownfall Ireland s history comes into play as Flying Scotsman Manual does the Catholic church who puts away those areifferent who are sexual or Alpha (Shifters, deemed loose A priest s word is law back then and troublemakers are removed from society As a result tragedy cruel treatment and prejudice ensuesI enjoyed how the story went back and forth telling Rose s story then and her story now For some reason the jumping back and forth betweenecades made Rose s story sad poignant I could feel her loneliness and pain I unlike Rose would have been mad as hell at having been locked up all those years I would have raged and fought She chose the path of forgiveness She is a survivor There is something uite beautiful in her ability to sit with her loss and loneliness and forgive those who have wronged her This book is beautifully written It s a big book with a lot of heart It has a very poetic and Gothic feel to it For some reason while reading this book I thought of other Gothic books such as Jane Eyre These books are not the same and Whalerider do not have similar story lines but theyo both. 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 upheav.

Have a lot of atmosphere and have the same type of Charlie Turns Into a T-Rex dreary feel to themSee of my reviews at wwwopenbookpostcom A gem of a book beautiful story beautifully written I recommend this one to my friends Fare thee well sweet Anna Liffy I can no longer stay And watch me new glass cages that spring up along me Ouay My mind s too full of memories too old to hear new chimes l m a part of what was Dublin in the rare ould times Dublin in the Rare Ould Times Dublin City Ramblers Songwriters Pete St John for the Dublin City Ramblers Roseanne s Testimony of Herself Patient Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital 1957 The world begins anew with every birth my father used to say He forgot to say with everyeath it ends Or Graphic Design For Everyone did not think he needed to Because for a goodly part of his life he worked in a graveyard The terror and hurt in my story happened because when I was young I thought others were the authors of my fortune or misfortune Iid not know that a person could hold up a wall made of imaginary bricks and mortar against the horrors and cruel Considering Kate (The Stanislaskis, dark tricks of time that assail us and be the author therefore of themselves I am an old old woman now I may be as much as a hundred though Io not know and no one knows I am only a thing left over a remnant woman and I Sweetland do not even look like a human being no but a scraggy stretch of skin and bone in a bleak skirt and blouse and a canvas jacket and I sit here in my niche like a songless robin no like a mouse thatied under the hearthstone where it was warm and lies now like a mummy in the pyramids Roseanne McNulty has lived at the Roscommon Regional Mental hospital years of her adult life than not she sits and waits but not impatiently for whatever end awaits In those hours she writes the story of her life in the hopes that after she s gone someone will believe the truth of her words finallyHer psychiatrist Dr Grene keeps his own journal Dr Grene s Commonplace Book Senior Psychiatrist Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital He contemplates the Art of Laurel and Hardy decline of the building that houses these patients and of the need to move to a newer building and his views on Roseanne with the new hospital not being large enough to house all of their current patients He wants to make the bestecision for her in her remaining time Those patients who he feels were unfairly committed can will be let go as there are fewer rooms in the new facility It s through their journals that their stories emerge a story of those years that make up Roseanne s life how she came to be a patient in this place but also a story of Ireland Of the times Ignorance War Conflict Love Passion Family Loss Grief Religion About memories and how our lives are built around them and how they can come to haunt us Perhaps sometimes they can save us as wellThis tale unravel slowly as tales of a lifetime are wont to Hers To Cherish (Verdantia, do meandering a bit here and there through time and place through the morals of the time and the music ah yes the music the places and people It is a poignant one her memories of her life with her father as a child through her teenage years her marriage and on through the point where the whole story of Roseanne s life finally comes to the surface and we know her truthLast fall I read Barry s Days Without End and loved it loved how beautifully written it was Another beautiful contemplative novel by this author I am already looking forward to reading of his works but first I just want towell in this lovely moment and contemplate or as my grandfather used to say sit a spell and ponder Recommended Are you an honest person TrulyPerhaps you instinctively think Yes even as you realise you are not always scrupulously so often for the best of reasons Often But not always One can t be totally honest all the time can one Can oneWhat is truth anyway but a social construct What s wrong about her account if she sincerely believes it There is no factual truth It matters that the person is admirable living and complete what a curious trio of adjectivesIn a post truth era on a big The Intelligent Entrepreneur day for possibly fake news a euphemism for lies and propaganda our collective ability to recognise truth slips ever further from our grasp StoriesThis is stories of centenarian Roseanne s lives The tides of two world wars and a civil war bring opportunity fear birtheath The Summer of the Ubume deceitespair and change crashing crushing on the shores of Sligo She s approaching her 100th birthday and has been in asylums for around seventy years Dr Grene has to gently uncover Roseanne s story to see if she should move to a new smaller institution or if the truth will set her free for care in the community a term he knows is inaccurate This isn t really about madness versus sanity though it s an issue for many characters or even incarceration It s about telling stories to hide the truth as well as to reveal it Roseanne and Dr Grene are both writing accounts of the past especially Roseanne s past in part to avoid considering the future Each is unaware the other is Distracted - Acting Edition doing so The reader experiences layers of contradictionistance and Trauma heilen distortion from the passage of timeeep trauma and efforts to protect from shame or guiltAnd then there is a third written testimony from Fr Gaunt and remnants. Al she talks often with her psychiatrist Dr Grene and their relationship intensifies and complicatesTold through their respective journals the story that emerges is at once shocking and eeply beautiful Refracted through the haze

Sebastian Barry is an Irish playwright novelist and poet He is noted for his dense literary writing style and is considered one of Ireland's finest writersBarry's literary career began in poetry before he began writing plays and novels In recent years his fiction writing has surpassed his work in the theatre in terms of success having once been considered a playwright who wrote occasional nove