*Feb. 2016 UPDATE: The movie is in post-production, but haven not found a release date
The Secret Scripture takes place in Sligo, Ireland across multiple decades. Roseanne McNulty, an elderly patient in an asylum, secretly recounts the story of her life throughout the pages of The Secret Scripture. Dr. Greene’s journal compliments the narrative told by Roseanne as each of their stories contradict each other and intertwine.
Besides being a marvelous story about family, the elusiveness of memories, and the unreliable state of historical fact due to authorship, The Secret Scripture captures an Ireland recovering from the tragedy of The Troubles. Having the opportunity to be in Ireland and Northern Ireland while reading this book, I can attest to Barry’s incorporation of Ireland’s and Northern Ireland’s tumultuous history and the brilliance with which he captures the emotion of the people. I believe that Barry only adds to his writing by addressing the issue of conflicting memory and history. Roseanne and Dr. Greene both encounter questions about the validity of old memories and the truth that comes from history written by those in power. Sebastian Barry’s writing is eloquent and peaceful. He spins a beautiful plot that keeps readers occupied with figuring out fact from fiction.
Note: This post was originally included in the “Summer Summary” of 2012.