Told through their respective journals, the story that emerges is at once shocking and deeply beautiful: a secret history of Ireland's changing character and the story of a life blighted by terrible mistreatment and ignorance.
Short listed for the Man Booker 2008 Prize
©2008 Sebastian Barry; (P)2008 Oakhill Publishing
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"The Most wonderful story ever told"
This is a book of untold strength and wisdom. It is intriguing, a story I could listen to again and again.
This is a haunting story of a woman whose life was taken out of her own hands for no reason other than the ignorance and closed mindedness of the age she grew up in. As she reflects on her life you begin to realize how lucky you are to live in the 21st century and how many lives were destroyed in the past merely for having an alternative personality or just not living life to the strict code laid down by others. The narrator is also fantastic and he captures the atmosphere of the story perfectly I think. This is definitely a story you will think about long after you finish listening to it.
Captivating from the outset, this beautiful yet harrowing, and at times spine-tingling story is equal parts poignant and profound. And if this isn't enough, the prose is delectably peeled off the parchment by the talented narration of Stephen Hogan.
"Intriguing story with exceptional narration"
I read this book when it was first published and enjoyed it all over again, thanks to the very talented narrator - not to mention the subtlety of the outstanding writing. It's an example of the power of the Catholic Church and its priests in early 20thc Ireland and how it profoundly affects the main character in the story.
The hypocrisy is breathtaking; the social history of the period brilliantly brought to life and it's also very poignant. Highly recommended.
Set in Southern Ireland, Roseanne has lived in the psychiatric hospital for decades and is very, very old. The institution is closing and a much smaller unit it being built. Is she ill? How did she come to live there? Can she move to the new unit or will she be put into the community? This is explored in parallel by Roseanne and the hospital psychiatrist, Dr Grene. How much can he find out and can Roseanne's memory be trusted. What will she share and for what reason? Why is the psychiatrist so interested in her? How do we know the past and how does it define us?
This is a beautifully written book crafted in a way that is much less simple than first appears. Full of poignancy and rich, juicy sentences it slowly, beguilingly unravels its' secrets. Float on the words as they ease by.
No wonder it won the Costa Book Award in 2008.
An excellent read, brilliant book. Sensitively reflecting on a tragic wasted life due to narrow minded intolerance and ignorance. I stayed up half the night listening not wanting to stop.
When i finished I listened again straight away as I the story line intertwines and I wanted to clarify the details I enjoyed it more the second time. Haunting and thought provoking.
"The Secret Scripture"
I highly reccomend this audio. The book is beautifully written, poetic in places, and a fantastic listen. The narrator is superb in his telling of the story, I was completely taken up with the story, couldnt stop listening and didn't want this to finish.
I was enthralled from the opeing chapter and the character moved me to tears. So gentle in the telling of this powerfully told story.
I wish I was such a craftsman with words to do this book justice.
Simply put, do yourself a favour and dowload it.
"Morals and Misfortunes"
Roseanne is nearly 100. She has been in the same asylum for 60 years, and now it's due to be demolished, her psychiatrist has to work out whether she deserves a bed in the new facility. The narrative switches between what the psychiatrist hears in their sessions and what Roseanne writes in her secret journals. It's difficult to listen to the hard lines drawn by the local priest and how his word was gospel, ruining whatever happiness she seemed to have. You never really know what is true and what Roseanne has imagined to make life more bearable, but that makes the story more intriguing.
"Waste of a credit"
For the first time ever, I've given up halfway through and I can safely say, having lost the will to live part way through the first half of the download, I cannot even name a character in this book let alone what the story is about - yes...its that mind numbingly boring.
"Worth checking out"
This is book is very compelling to listen to especially as it shows what use to happen in times gone by when someone was put into an asylum for no apparent reason at all. It takes you through Roseannes life as seen by her and shows how this life was distorted to conform to others ways of thinking and her life ruined by this a very compelling read and an insight into how things were and might still be but for reforms. And also shows her determination to ensure that her past is remembered in a small way through her writings
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