Book Review: The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry


My sister came home on holidays and was telling me about this great book she had been reading on the plane.  She couldn’t remember the name of the book but knew the author was Sebastian Barry.  On the way home, she had stopped off in London for work. She said she was dying to finish the book when she got to her hotel but couldn’t find it anywhere and realised she had left it on the plane.  This made me laugh as it could only happen to her.   She stayed at home a couple of days and then set off on a shopping trip to Cork and landed home with the book called The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry.  She finished it and gave it to me to sell or do whatever I wanted with it.  It was on the pile of books that was supposed to go down to my book store but I was curious as to what had got my sister so hooked so I decided to read it myself.

The book is the story of a nearly 100 year old woman, Roseanne, who is in a mental hospital.  She goes back and tells her life story and how she ended up in the mental hospital.  At the same time her doctor, Dr. Grene, is updating his records and trying to learn more about his patient so that he can move her to another hospital.   The book is written from both Roseanne and Dr Grenes’ point of view. It is a well written book and it’s descriptive language gives a picture of what the author is trying to show.  It covers back to the 1930’s in Ireland so there are the different social aspects through the years.  Roseanne is an amusing character and made me laugh on a few occasions.  At times I wished it gave some more information but I think they way it’s written makes you stay curious right to the end.

I did find myself drawn back to the book, wondering what was going to happen next and kept on reading until the end.  It was also one of those books that I wished had a few more chapters.  I can see why my sister had to go and buy another copy.  We rarely read the same books so I was surprised to enjoy it.

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

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