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The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

The Secret Scripture - Sebastian Barry

bookshelves: radio-4x, published-2008, lit-richer, lifestyles-deathstyles, britain-ireland, booker-longlist, summer-2014, fradio, roman-catholic

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from June 20 to July 04, 2014



Description: 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.

Abridged by Neville Teller.
Read by Doreen Keogh and Alex Jennings.

1/10. Nearing her 100th birthday, Roseanne McNulty faces an uncertain future at the soon to be closed Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital. Her only solace is her psychiatrist Dr Grene, with whom she has an intense and increasingly complicated relationship.

2/10. Dr Grene tries to find out why Roseanne McNulty was originally committed to hospital.

3/10. Elderly mental hospital patient Roseanne McNulty reveals a terrible childhood tragedy.

4/10. Elderly patient Roseanne McNulty discovers that Dr Grene has suffered a terrible loss.

6/10 Despite mourning his late wife, Dr Grene tries to learn more about his patient, Roseanne.

7/10 Roseanne McNulty remembers when she secretly met another man behind her husband's back.

8/10 Roseanne remembers how her husband, Tom, left her after she was discovered with John.

9/10. Father Gaunt's deposition refers to a baby born long after Roseanne's marriage was over.

10/10 Dr Grene must head to England to uncover the truth about Roseanne McNulty's child. Concluded by Doreen Keogh and Alex Jennings.

I see the film is due out in 2015. This was a gruelling read as the same happened to me. Not the asylum sequence, but the 'marriage didn't happen and your daughter is now a bastard' thing. The ending was no surprise at all, so right there, is the falling star. Four  x lady in a straight jacket.

McNulty Family:
4* The Secret Scripture
4* The Temporary Gentleman

Dunne Family:
2* On Canaan's Side