The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

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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 Sebastian Barry

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SEBASTIAN BARRY's plays have been produced in London, Dublin, Sydney, and New York. His novel A Long Long Way was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, as was The Secret Scripture, which was also a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist, winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award, and the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction, as well as the Irish Novel of the Year. Barry lives in Wicklow, Ireland, with his wife and three children.
 
Published June 12, 2008 by Penguin Books. 324 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Religion & Spirituality, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Secret Scripture

Kirkus Reviews

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A subtle study of psychology, religion, family and politics in Ireland.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Secret Scripture

Publishers Weekly

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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 myst

Mar 31 2008 | Read Full Review of The Secret Scripture

The New York Times

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Sebastian Barry’s subject is the history of his native land, Ireland, in the early part of the 20th century.

Jun 23 2008 | Read Full Review of The Secret Scripture

The New York Times

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In this novel, a 100-year-old and her doctor mine a life’s secrets.

Jan 18 2009 | Read Full Review of The Secret Scripture

The Guardian

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I was astonished to be told by my mother that she herself had been writing a sort of secret scripture, in her car over the last few months, about her childhood in Sligo, no doubt covering some of the same ground and the same lost people as I was in the novel.

Apr 10 2009 | Read Full Review of The Secret Scripture

The Guardian

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The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry Find this on the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop The winner of this year's Costa book award, Sebastian Barry'...

Feb 08 2009 | Read Full Review of The Secret Scripture

The Guardian

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The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop "They say the old at least have their memories.

Feb 14 2009 | Read Full Review of The Secret Scripture

The Guardian

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The setting is the western Ireland of traditional literary depiction - subtle Yeatsian references abound in the novel - but Barry's destabilising of inherited images gives the book a punkish energy as well as fiery beauty.

May 23 2008 | Read Full Review of The Secret Scripture

The Guardian

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Roseanne McNulty, 100 years old and into her sixth decade in Roscommon mental hospital, has a wealth of memories to feel resentful about: her incarceration while still young and beautiful, condemned as insane by the local priest for a supposed marital transgression, her baby removed from her.

Feb 13 2009 | Read Full Review of The Secret Scripture

The Bookbag

As Roseanne's one-time husband, Tom, says, 'The whole of Ireland is just a madhouse now.' This, then, is Roseanne's version of the 20th Century history of Ireland.

Jan 09 2015 | Read Full Review of The Secret Scripture

Review (Barnes & Noble)

The plays and novels of Irish writer Sebastian Barry are haunting, beautiful creations, riddled with secrets and often populated by ghosts.

Aug 04 2008 | Read Full Review of The Secret Scripture

Bookmarks Magazine

Irish poet, novelist, and playwright Sebastian Barry recently won the Costa Prize (previously the Whitbread Prize) for The Secret Scripture, which reintroduces themes and settings from his earlier novel, The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty (1998).

Jun 17 2008 | Read Full Review of The Secret Scripture

Booklist Online

But there’s good news—by subscribing today, you will receive 22 issues of Booklist magazine, 4 issues of Book Links, and single-login access to Booklist Online and over 160,000 reviews.

May 18 2015 | Read Full Review of The Secret Scripture

Curious Book Fans

So while Roseanne is writing as a form of closure, Dr. Grene is writing as a process of mourning.

Oct 21 2012 | Read Full Review of The Secret Scripture

AuthorsDen

This book is now available in paperback, published by Faber and Faber and its ISBN is: 0571215297.

Mar 14 2009 | Read Full Review of The Secret Scripture

Project MUSE

When the novel opens, Dr. Grene, Roseanne's longtime physician and her main confidante throughout the novel, has been tasked with assessing patients that have been under his care (and in care well before his arrival at the mental facility) for years, as the patients are in the process of being mo...

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Reader Rating for The Secret Scripture
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