by Sebastian Barry
2008, 300 pp.
Booker Prize Shortlist
I'd be happy if this book won the Booker Prize. Yeah, I would, and I haven't read any of the other contenders yet! Sebastian Barry is a magnificent writer, and I will definitely be reading more of his work.
Roseanne McNulty is almost 100 years old, and Dr. Grene is the psychiatrist attending her at Roscommon Mental Hospital. The story slowly unfolds by giving alternating accounts of Roseanne and Dr. Grene. As he seeks to understand her and her tragic past, he must also deal with some tragedy of his own. As everyone knows, 'grief lasts two years.'
With Ireland as a backdrop and themes of religion, mental illness, and family loyalty and betrayal, The Secret Scripture is superbly crafted and is definitely worthy of the Booker Prize.
What can I tell you further? I once lived among humankind, and found them in their generality to be cruel and cold, and yet could mention the names of three or four that were like angels.