Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

I listened to the audio version of this novel.  It was from Blackstone Audio and was read by  Wanda McCaddon, unabridged, 9 hours and 45 minutes. 

At first I was rather confused as to which character was speaking until  I realized that each change of character was announced.  Somehow I had managed to mis-understand what was happening.  Once that was cleared in my mind, I was able to follow the story and enjoy it.

Roseanne McNulty of County Sligo, Ireland has been living in a mental hospital for most of her adult life.  As she approaches the age of one hundred years, the staff psychiatrist Dr. Grene is required to assess her and determine her suitability for release.  Over the course of the next weeks/months, Dr. Grene tries to coax Roseanne into telling her story.  She is very resistant.  Unknown to the doctor, Roseanne has been recording her memories in a notebook that she keeps hidden. 

I found myself outraged on Roseanne's behalf.  All she wanted was to be able to love her husband, yet she was blocked at so many turns.    I was also shocked at the in-adequate level of care that Dr. Grene showed his patients.  One would think that after decades of being her psychiatrist, he would have known her history and that he would have established weekly sessions with each patient.  He admitted that he only visited Roseanne once or twice a year to she that her physical needs were being met.

This is an interesting story and it challenges me to consider the role of religion  in personal relationships and also the position of priests and the power they wield.

Thanks to Petty Witter  of Pen and Paper for recommending it to me.

Cover Photo Credit to Blackstone Audio.

This is my 35th and final book for the Read, Remember, Recommend Fiction Challenge hosted by Rachelle of


Shelley said...

Sounds like very interesting read! I may find this one at the library :)

Martha@Hey, I want to read that said...

This sounds like a very interesting read. And I love the cover. I'm gong to have to look for this book.