Coleen's Reviews > The Secret Scripture

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
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's review
Apr 17, 2012

liked it
Read in September, 2011

9/28/11 - It took a while for this novel to grow on me. Not until I finished it did I really appreciate the prose & the complexity of the storyline. Having listened to it on audio, the Irish brogue really became apparent & helped lend authenticity to the story and the setting. Told from alternating viewpoints, that of a 100-year-old woman in an Irish mental hospital and the doctor assigned to assess her as the hospital prepares to close its doors & reassign or "free" its patients, the reader is gradually emerged into the history of the woman and the acts and consequences that lead to her admittance into the hospital some 50+ years earlier.

I thought the story good to fair. It was slow to get going and I found the ramblings of the doctor, particularly in regards to his wife, long & unnecessary. This is a sad story, as seems to be the case with most novels I've read involving a setting in Ireland. The lyrical writing, and not so much the plot, is what saves this book from being just mediocre.

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