Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

I read this book for one of my book group discussions. At first I was having a hard time getting into the book and had decided to be one of those members that comes to the meeting, not having read the book. But then I heard from another member that she too had a hard time getting into it but ended up loving it.

I decided to give it another try, this time not focusing on the structure of the sentences but just letting the book flow over me. And guess what? I ended up enjoying the book. Can't say that I loved it, but I am glad I read it. We ended up having a very good discussion. And that is what it is about, right?

Synopsis from Amazon ---
The latest from Barry pits two contradictory narratives against each other in an attempt to solve the mystery of a 100-year-old mental patient. That patient, Roseanne McNulty, decides to undertake an autobiography and writes of an ill-fated childhood spent with her father, Joe Clear. A cemetery superintendent, Joe is drawn into Ireland's 1922 civil war when a group of irregulars brings a slain comrade to the cemetery and are discovered by a division of Free-Staters. Meanwhile, Roseanne's psychiatrist, Dr. Grene, investigating Roseanne's original commitment in preparation for her transfer to a new hospital, discovers through the papers of the local parish priest, Fr. Gaunt, that Roseanne's father was actually a police sergeant in the Royal Irish Constabulary. The mysteries multiply when Roseanne reveals that Fr. Gaunt annulled her marriage after glimpsing her in the company of another man; Gaunt's official charge was nymphomania, and the cumulative fallout led to a string of tragedies. Written in captivating, lyrical prose, Barry's novel is both a sparkling literary puzzle and a stark cautionary tale of corrupted power.


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