Monday, August 18, 2008
70. "The Secret Scripture" - Sebastian Barry
I adored A Long, Long Way; in fact, it was one of the first almost-TKAM books that I read for this blog. I still admire Barry's way with language - there are moments in The Secret Scripture that made me heart-hungry for such talent - but the overall landscape didn't work for me.
Old, old Roseanne is in the Sligo asylum, waiting for death or another day as a 100-year-old woman. She is not insane but uses the asylum literally. She writes her story and hides it under a loose floorboard. Meanwhile, Dr. Grene, the HBIC psychiatrist, must decide who is sane enough to return to society, as the asylum is being closed.
Funny thing is, as long as Roseanne has been there, Dr. Grene has not known her story or her reasons for being there. Funny thing is, the mice ate away at her records. Funny thing is, Dr. Grene is the most useless psychiatrist in the history of mankind, and his character flaws widen to impossibilities. Add a soap opera twist and *boom* - I've flung this novel against the wall.
Oh, Sebastian Barry, you are capable of so much more than just pretty words.
1.25 out of 5.0 Hot Irish Nut.