Greedy, voracious reader since age five. After a number of eye injuries & surgeries, reading is hard. So now, I listen.
An aging Irish mental hospital is being shuttered, and its aging population is being evaluated, either for release to freedom or transfer to another facility. The doctor becomes fascinated by one centenarian who doesn't seem mad...but the story she tells of her life is very different from the one told by the Catholic priest who colluded in having her committed. How much of memory can be trusted? The mind can 'remember' things to protect itself. Memories can be shaped by one's need to support a particular narrative.
Northern Ireland's "troubles" and the powerful Catholic Church form the backdrop of this story, where painful memories and secrets conflate good and evil in the two narratives.
Some reviewers complain about the 'Deus ex machina' ending, but I think maybe they forget what a small and insular place N Ireland was.
The narrator is great. Only 4 stars because the brogue was a little hard to get used to, and her voice is too feminine for the male part.
It's about middle of the pack. It kept my interest but wasn't a gripping thriller.
I liked the reflective moments of Roseann. I enjoyed her view of history as thru a misty blurred glass.
never can...but enjoyed getting back to it.
It's a nice rambling story. The end could be predictable if you were thinking that way...I wasn't, so the ending was a nice surprise. I enjoyed the telling of Irish history as the story unfolded. It was kinda unbelievable that someone writes in their diary with such flowing words and detailed descriptions as Roseann did. I enjoyed reading the literary prose and forgot about the fact that it was the diary of a 100 yr old lady. Her mind certainly would not be working that way...but you forget that and just enjoy the story.
Three words to sum up The Secret Scripture? Well, endearing, shocking, graceful.
I sincerely loved dear old Roseanne.
I had not listened to Wanda McCaddon's performances prior to this, but I won't hesitate to purchase any audiobook narrated by her. She is a fantastic narrator, switching up dialogues seamlessly, speaking at a steady pace, pauses and inflections were perfect. A true delight to listen to Ms McCaddon perform The Secret Garden.
Roseanne was the most memorable character, although it was easy enough to develop a fondness for (almost) all of the characters. To find out why, well, you'll need to listen!
This is a true keeper. So glad I purchased The Secret Scripture.
I would! I became so engrossed in the story as it switched between the past and the present that I think it would only enhance this story to listen to it again.
I loved her Irish accents. Though I wouldn't know how accurate she was, she subtly changed her voice to reflect intonations from different parts of Ireland. She really added to my enjoyment of the book.
I highly recommend this audiobook to anyone who has enjoyed books by Kate Morton.
Philologist, Humanist, Traveler
As others have said, this is a beautiful novel, beautifully read, and it wouldn't have been the same without the soft Irish accent. To add a few more points: If someone had said, "Here's a novel about the Irish Civil War", it wouldn't have captured the same interest. The way the conflict(s) were brought in, slowly but increasingly, was masterful. The child Roseann had no concept of "civil war", just scenes, more or less clear, of what happened to her father. We learn later how the scenes fit into the larger, tragic conflicts of church & state, but the war is never allowed to overwhelm the characters. There's no explicit, "he's on this side; he's on that side". It was a complicated stuggle, and this book sent me to find out more about it. I recommend the 1996 Liam Neeson movie, "Michael Collins", & of course, wikipedia. Another surprising discovery -- I was searching for other works by this author & found "The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty", a prequel written 10 years before "Secret Scriptures", about the minor-but-pivotal character. Can't wait to read it. (There's no recording.) This got me thinking about his namesake, Aeneas, of Trojan War fame. The parallels give one more slant on the book. AEneas, the wandering warrior, cast out of his homeland. AEneas, the passionate lover of the seductive Carthagenean Queen Dido (a.k.a. the heathen, Presbyterian beauty, Roseann). AEneas, whose mother Aphrodite pulls him away from his love & tells him he has a more glorious path to fulfill (Here Tom merges with Eneas). And BTW, are there really 3 distinct sons, or are they in essense all representatives of the same Son of Ireland, each with his own particular allegiances & fates? After all, in the letter that Jack sent Roseann, he wrote "we [brothers] all loved you". Mrs. McNulty as Aprodite? Her sons did have different fathers, and she certainly had the wrath of god! This is one way to recognize fine literature -- it has connections that go in many directions. ENJOY!
I absolutely loved the telling of this tale. Wonderful story read beautifully. As with any really good book, I was sorry that it had to end.
This book has it all! From the first sentence to an end you will wish would never come, the story, the language and the stunning use of metaphor, Sacred Scripture is a novel to cherish. It is at once intimate and shocking, unraveling a brutal personal history with an elegant, soft touch...a mighty challenge. It is not to be missed. Extraordinary writing--delightfully read.
wanda mc caddon did a wonderful job
this story really deserves a thick irish brogue
her diction is lyrical but always intelligible
the tale is one of relentless irish adversity
the british, the church and other irish are all equally cruel
to have anything of your own is its' own small victory
? how do you live in a world not designed with you in mind
? how do you remain sane while constantly under attack
? where can you find a home in this uncaring society
there is a beautiful paragraph near the start of the book
it reports to be about signs for catching or not catching salmon
as it turns out you never really do catch a salmon
no matter what ; life won't turn out the way you planned
there is no real use in complaining and worrying about it
it's what you do after you learn this fact that really matters