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The Secret Scripture

Author(s): Sebastian Barry

Location(s): County Sligo

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): Modern looking back

Winner of the 2008 Costa Book of the Year
Winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize 2008
Winner of the Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year 2008
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2008
A Sunday Times Top 100 Novel of the Twenty-First Century
Featured on BBC2’s ‘Between the Covers’ as a Booker Gem 2021

Nearing her one-hundredth birthday, Roseanne McNulty faces an uncertain future, as the Roscommon Regional Mental hospital where she’s spent the best part of her adult life prepares for closure. Over the weeks leading up to this upheaval, she talks often with her psychiatrist Dr Grene, and their relationship intensifies and complicates. Told through their respective journals, the story that emerges is at once shocking and deeply beautiful. Refracted through the haze of memory and retelling, Roseanne’s story becomes an alternative, secret history of Ireland’s changing character and the story of a life blighted by terrible mistreatment and ignorance, and yet marked still by love and passion and hope.

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