The Secret Scripture ePUB – Mariahilff.de

For history as far as I can see is not the arrangement of what happens, in sequence and in truth, but a fabulous arrangement of surmises and guesses held up as a banner against the assault of withering truth The Secret Scripture is a sublime work of fiction about memory and its effect on history and truth It s about love and loss, grief, religion and Ireland It nearly broke my heart, but left me with a glimpse of joy and hope It s a slow unraveling of the mystery surrounding the reason whyFor history as far as I can see is not the arrangement of what happens, in sequence and in truth, but a fabulous arrangement of surmises and guesses held up as a banner against the assault of withering truth The Secret Scripture is a sublime work of fiction about memory and its effect on history and truth It s about love and loss, grief, religion and Ireland It nearly broke my heart, but left me with a glimpse of joy and hope It s a slow unraveling of the mystery surrounding the reason why Roseanne McNulty has been institutionalized at the Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital for the past sixty years of her nearly one hundred years of life Her story is gradually revealed through her own narrative as recorded in a hidden journal as well as through inquiries made by Dr Grene, the psychiatrist charged with her care Roscommon is slated to shut down and Dr Grene must determine which patients, if any, were wrongfully committed for reasons other than mental instability The point of view alternates between Roseanne s voice and that of Dr Grene What Roseanne tells us and what Dr Grene uncovers from old documents are two different versions of the truth Dr Grene must determine which to believe and how these stories ultimately matter in his own decision regarding Roseanne s fate in her old ageThe one thing that is fatal in the reading of impromptu history is a wrongful desire for accuracy There is no such thing Roseanne s story is a tragic one and my heart ached for this gentle soul left abandoned due to the ignorance and prejudices of other human beings A Protestant in a country ravaged by civil war, Roseanne is a victim of the power of the Irish Catholic Church in the early 1900s Father Gaunt is a symbol of the perversion of the influences of the church at that time over the lives and the moral judgments of those in its pathMorality has its own civil wars, with its own victims in their own time and placeThe story is told slowly and is one to be read with quiet contemplation, allowing Sebastian Barry s extraordinary prose to wash over and captivate you I closed the book with a feeling of absolute contentment despite the grim journey I will no doubt readof this author s work and am in fact anxious to do so I highly recommend this five star bookThere are things that move at a human pace before our eyes, but other things move in arcs so great they are as good as invisible Are you an honest person Truly Perhaps you instinctively think Yes , even as you realise you are not always scrupulously so, often for the best of reasons Often But not always One can t be totally honest all the time, can one Can one What is truth anyway, but a social construct What s wrong about her account if she sincerely believes itThere is no factual truth It mattersthat the person is admirable, living, and complete what a curious trio of adjectives.In a post truth e Are you an honest person Truly Perhaps you instinctively think Yes , even as you realise you are not always scrupulously so, often for the best of reasons Often But not always One can t be totally honest all the time, can one Can one What is truth anyway, but a social construct What s wrong about her account if she sincerely believes itThere is no factual truth It mattersthat the person is admirable, living, and complete what a curious trio of adjectives.In a post truth era, on a big day for possibly fake news a euphemism for lies and propaganda , our collective ability to recognise truth slips ever further from our grasp StoriesThis is stories of centenarian Roseanne s lives The tides of two world wars and a civil war bring opportunity, fear, birth, death, deceit, despair, and change crashing, crushing, on the shores of Sligo She s approaching her 100th birthday, and has been in asylums for around seventy years Dr Grene has to gently uncover Roseanne s story to see if she should move to a new, smaller institution or if the truth will set her free for care in the community a term he knows is inaccurate This isn t really about madness versus sanity though it s an issue for many characters or even incarceration It s about telling stories to hide the truth as well as to reveal it Roseanne and Dr Grene are both writing accounts of the past, especially Roseanne s past, in part to avoid considering the future Each is unaware the other is doing so The reader experiences layers of contradiction, distance and distortion from the passage of time, deep trauma, and efforts to protect from shame or guilt.And then there is a third written testimony, from Fr Gaunt, and remnants of official records A little apocryphal gospel which readers get second hand via Dr Grene, and which are further muddied when the doctor realises he s filling in gaps that Fr Gaunt did not Another layer of embroidery.And what about the unknown hand who brought all the narratives together How do we untangle the truth Which version of the tower and feathers and hammers is true Could it even be both Why are they writing No plot spoilers, just background notes and detail view spoiler Roseanne wants an honest minded history of myself because My secrets are my fortune and my sanity She has experienced the dire consequences of gossip and presumptionthan once, so There must be accuracy and rightness Dr Grene s writing is an extension of his work, a distraction from personal loss, and a sign of ongoing inner life that triggers ideas and insight Fr Gaunt s desire to tell the story illuminates it He is unburdening himself, as he might a sin A person without stories that outlive them becomes lost to family, lost to history, sad black names on within family trees, with half a date dangling after and a question mark.Roseanne s father relished telling stories from his life, but mother is singularly without stories and eventually mute She vanishes from the story hide spoiler WordsNo plot spoilers, just background notes and detail view spoiler The writing it beautiful and lyrical see quotes below, especially about sea, ran, weather, and light , but some words have special weight The pages are infused with religious people, language, and symbols a priest, the church, visions that might be angels, and roast lamb in a sacrificial context Is Roseanne s Testimony of herself her title or someone else s Is secret scripture an oxymoron and who calls it that What is sacred about it the story or the telling of it Dr Grene s record is merely his Commonplace Book.Perhaps because she has been deemed unclean by some, Roseanne notes cleanliness a great deal My father was the cleanest man in all the Christian world Father Gaunt is cleaner than the daylight moon and later, his cleanliness made me fearful Dr Grene sits on Roseanne s bed as if it were the cleanest bed in all Christendom And she only writes her notes on clean sheets of paper Names may tell us something Clear is the surname of Roseanne s family, but their history is opaque Grene, the doctor s surname, is an important colour, as well as being associated with Ireland generally Gaunt can never be good, can it Roseanne loves flowers, especially roses, as does Dr Grene s wife, and when he visits Roseanne s old house, he finds and plucks a rose.Roses are not the only hybrids It s significant that some people are part English and part Irish hide spoiler Poisoned ChalicesFemale beauty and sexuality are poisoned chalices in a society where only women are shamed and punished for the consequences of both Mere existence Caused him displeasure and disquiet at the nature of a woman What Matters in The End I guessed the main twist and others well before it was revealed I didn t mind But what did dilute the book s power was the rushed but detailed explanation of the complex chain of events, involving many people, that made it possible Far better had it been chance fate or merely unexplained More credible, too If one strives to be the architect of one s own life, it s not much of a stretch to be the curator of one s own history, editing a little along the way, is it And if you trust or blame fate instead, perhaps you have evencause to write yourself a happier beginning, middle, and end I ask again Are you an honest person Truly Is anyone QuotesNo plot spoilers, but hidden for brevity and easy scrolling They re worth the click, though It s not just the setting that is typically Irish, but the writing, too.History, Memory, Truth, and Stories Quotes view spoiler No one has the monopoly on truth History is not the arrangement of what happened but a fabulous arrangement of surmises and guesses held up as a banner against the assault of withering truth Fabulous inthan one sense The written word assumes authority but it may not have it I thought others were the authors of my sort of misfortune A child is never the author of his own history I am only the midwife to my own old story Memory if it is neglected becomes like a box room the contents jumbled about Everything I remember may not be real There was so much turmoil I took refuge in other impossible histories, in dreams, in fantasies I don t know hide spoiler Sanity and Madness Quotes view spoiler Madness has many flowers, rising from the same stem Learned a sort of viral madness is often the fate of long term inmates of the asylum The worse cases are sleeping towards death, crawling on bleeding knees towards our Lord I whisper a prayer to hurry up their souls to heaven In here, amid the shadows and the distant cries, the greatest virtue is silence Sane to a degree that makes sanity almost undesirable hide spoiler Beauty Quotes view spoiler Abeautiful girl Sligo never saw, she had skin soft as feathers and green eyes like American emeralds The sort of beauty no man can protect himself against My mother suffered strangely under her halo of beauty Beautiful once, but beauty ended All that remains of me now is a rumour of beauty hide spoiler People and Relationships Quotes view spoiler He had that rare ability to let things ease in himself in the company of a child, and be stupid and gay in the parched light It is no crime to love your father My pride in her was my pride in myself Now we are two foreign countries and we simply have our embassies in the same house Relations are friendly but strictly diplomatic There is an underlying sense of rumour, of judgement, of memory, like two peoples that have once committed grave crimes against each other, but in another generation We have neglected the tiny sentences of life and now the big ones are beyond our reach hide spoiler Sea, Rain, Weather, and Light Quotes view spoiler Humans came from the sea and therefore still long for it Many characters walk the shore for peace or escape, and one is dramatically rescued from drowning The rain drives everyone indoors and history with it our world in its inner truth is so wet, the surprised greens of the fields and hills seem to burn with a sort of bewilderment, a wonderment Always the deluge of rain falling making the houses shiver and huddle like people at a football match Falling fantastically, in enormous amounts, the contents of a hundred rivers And the river itself swelling up, the beautiful swans taken by surprise, riding the torrent, being swept down under the bridge and reappearing the other side like unsuccessful suicides, their mysterious eyes shocked and black, their mysterious grace unassailed Sideways spring sunlight, that seemed to have crept in through the window glass with an almost apologetic delicacy The wind was dancing about so you didn t know where the rain would catch you Rain striking the surface of the road and leaping about with a sort of anger The rain was like huge skirts, swirling and lifting The galloping sound of the sea, as it rushed in eagerly to take the empty places in its arms The famous Metal Man is Solid and eternal faithfully and stoically pointing down into the deep water hide spoiler Other Quotes view spoiler A cold town Even the mountains stood away Any effort at gardening is an effort to drag to earth the colours and importances of heaven Grief is two years long So says Fr Gaunt My head was aflame with the deep dark pulse of grief, that beats like a physical pain, like a rat got into your brains, a rat on fire At close of day the ship we sail in is the soul, not the body His veritable gospel was Religio Medici by Sir Thomas Browne Slight as a watercolour, a mere gesture of bones and features Caf women like veritable hens in a yard the chat and gossip rising from them like dust from a desert caravan of camels Accents like beer bottles being smashed in a back lane hide spoiler Image Sources view spoiler Hand on Bible Poisoned chalice Man, Coney Island, near Sligo truth will set you free John 8 32 hide spoiler A superbly crafted novel told in under 300 pages A story so cleverly written that for half of the Novel I believed I was reading a non fiction account image Rosanne Mc Nulty is nearing her hundredth birthday in the mental hospital where she was committed as a young woman Finishing up his case notes before the hospital is closed psychiatrist Dr Greene finds himself intrigued by the story of his elderly patient While Dr Green investigates, Roseanne looks back on the tragedies and passions she A superbly crafted novel told in under 300 pages A story so cleverly written that for half of the Novel I believed I was reading a non fiction account image Rosanne Mc Nulty is nearing her hundredth birthday in the mental hospital where she was committed as a young woman Finishing up his case notes before the hospital is closed psychiatrist Dr Greene finds himself intrigued by the story of his elderly patient While Dr Green investigates, Roseanne looks back on the tragedies and passions she has locked away in her secret journal, from her turbulent rural childhood to the marriage she believed would bring her happiness But when Dr Green finally uncovers the circumstances of her arrival at the hospital it leads to a shocking secret.I have read several of Barry s novels to date and this one is one of my all time favourites as this story is moving and haunting and Barry has a talent at capturing an Irishiness that is real and authentic of the time and place.On reading this for a second time as the first time I read it was in 2009 and since the movie is out at the moment I wanted to refresh my memory and see if I would enjoy the reading experience all over again On finishing the Novel I don t think I want to actually see the movie now as I am afraid it will spoil the vivid images created in my mind by Barry s glorious writing.Quote from book my mother s wits were now in an attic of her head which had neither door nor stair, or at least none that I could find This is a moving story about memory and conflicting versions of the past, beautiful and haunting and yet uplifting A well deserved 5 stars and without doubt it earned its place on the short list for the Man Booker Prize in 2008 Last month my book club read Sebastian Barry s Days Without End , and we all loved it unconditionally That almost never happens So our hostess up for the April read decided to assign another of Barry s books, although she had some reservations that it might compare unfavorably to the one we thought so highly of How can it possibly be as good, she asked She needn t have worried, because it was as good, but in a different way The language was still soaring and poetic, the characters just as s Last month my book club read Sebastian Barry s Days Without End , and we all loved it unconditionally That almost never happens So our hostess up for the April read decided to assign another of Barry s books, although she had some reservations that it might compare unfavorably to the one we thought so highly of How can it possibly be as good, she asked She needn t have worried, because it was as good, but in a different way The language was still soaring and poetic, the characters just as soulful, and the story What a story The tale is told through two journals, one by the psychiatrist needing to assess an elderly patient before the insane asylum she has been in for 60 years is demolished, and the other by the patient herself, 100 year old Roseanne Clear or McNulty, depending on whose story can be believed There is also a brief deposition by the Catholic priest responsible for her incarceration, and for many of her woes, and I sincerely hope there is a special place in Hell reserved for him.This is a multi layered novel, with little bits of truth and understanding poking through every once in a while Even so, I had to read the climax four times just to believe it I still get chills thinking about it.Even though the setting is from 1907 2007, it reads like a Victorian novel, maybe because of the handwritten journals and the Irish locales.This was a complete departure from some of my other recent reading, and I was completely swept up in the story So much so that I continue to wish Father Gaunt consigned to that special place in Hell A gem of a book, beautiful story, beautifully written I recommend this one to my friends Fare thee well sweet Anna Liffy I can no longer stay And watch me new glass cages that spring up along me Ouay My mind s too full of memories too old to hear new chimes l m a part of what was Dublin in the rare ould timesDublin in the Rare Ould Times, Dublin City Ramblers, Songwriters Pete St John for the Dublin City Ramblers Roseanne s Testimony of Herself Patient, Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital, 1957 The world begins anew with every birth, my father used to say He forgoFare thee well sweet Anna Liffy I can no longer stay And watch me new glass cages that spring up along me Ouay My mind s too full of memories too old to hear new chimes l m a part of what was Dublin in the rare ould timesDublin in the Rare Ould Times, Dublin City Ramblers, Songwriters Pete St John for the Dublin City Ramblers Roseanne s Testimony of Herself Patient, Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital, 1957 The world begins anew with every birth, my father used to say He forgot to say, with every death it ends Or did not think he needed to Because for a goodly part of his life he worked in a graveyard The terror and hurt in my story happened because when I was young I thought others were the authors of my fortune or misfortune I did not know that a person could hold up a wall made of imaginary bricks and mortar against the horrors and cruel, dark tricks of time that assail us, and be the author therefore of themselves I am an old, old woman now, I may be as much as a hundred, though I do not know, and no one knows I am only a thing left over, a remnant woman, and I do not even look like a human being no , but a scraggy stretch of skin and bone in a bleak skirt and blouse, and a canvas jacket, and I sit here in my niche like a songless robin no, like a mouse that died under the hearthstone where it was warm and lies now like a mummy in the pyramids Roseanne McNulty has lived at the Roscommon Regional Mental hospitalyears of her adult life than not, she sits and waits but not impatiently for whatever end awaits In those hours she writes the story of her life in the hopes that after she s gone someone will believe the truth of her words, finally.Her psychiatrist, Dr Grene, keeps his own journal Dr Grene s Commonplace Book Senior Psychiatrist, Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital He contemplates the decline of the building that houses these patients, and of the need to move to a newer building, and his views on Roseanne with the new hospital not being large enough to house all of their current patients He wants to make the best decision for her in her remaining time Those patients who he feels were unfairly committed, can, will be let go, as there are fewer rooms in the new facility It s through their journals that their stories emerge, a story of those years that make up Roseanne s life, how she came to be a patient in this place, but also a story of Ireland Of the times Ignorance War Conflict Love Passion Family Loss Grief Religion About memories and how our lives are built around them, and how they can come to haunt us Perhaps sometimes they can save us, as well.This tale unravel slowly, as tales of a lifetime are wont to do, meandering a bit here and there through time and place, through the morals of the time, and the music ah yes, the music the places and people It is a poignant one, her memories of her life with her father as a child, through her teenage years, her marriage, and on through the point where the whole story of Roseanne s life finally comes to the surface, and we know her truth.Last fall I read Barry sDays Without End,and loved it, loved how beautifully written it was Another beautiful, contemplative novel by this author, I am already looking forward to readingof his works, but first I just want to dwell in this lovely moment and contemplate or, as my grandfather used to say sit a spell and ponder Recommended 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 complicatesTold 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 Rose McNultry is almost 100 years old For most of her life she has been a patient in Roscommon Mental hospital in rural west Ireland This mad woman has lived here most of her adult life The hospital is going to be shut down and she is facing a scary future of being moved from where she has lived most of her life She has frequent talks with her therapist psychiatrist in the weeks leading up to the hospital s closure Her therapists job is to determine what to do with the patients left behin Rose McNultry is almost 100 years old For most of her life she has been a patient in Roscommon Mental hospital in rural west Ireland This mad woman has lived here most of her adult life The hospital is going to be shut down and she is facing a scary future of being moved from where she has lived most of her life She has frequent talks with her therapist psychiatrist in the weeks leading up to the hospital s closure Her therapists job is to determine what to do with the patients left behind He needs to determine who is of sound mind but institutionalized against their will and who is mentally ill This also asks the question, if you are sane when you are institutionalized, will this prolonged treatment render you insane Rose has been keeping a journal of her life which she keeps hidden under the floorboards of her room She only takes her journals out when it is safe It is through her journal entries that we learn about her past Her relationship with her parents she had a loving father and a mother who distances herself from her daughter Rose falls in love with a young Man who has a domineering Mother who does not approve of her Catholic son being with a Presbyterian young woman Father Gaunt makes sure that Rose does not marry the young man she is in love with The priest s misogyny, mistrust and dislike for women is Rose s downfall Ireland s history comes into play as does the Catholic church who puts away those are different, who are sexual or deemed loose A priest s word is law back then and troublemakers are removed from society As a result, tragedy, cruel treatment and prejudice ensues.I enjoyed how the story went back and forth telling Rose s story then and her story now For some reason, the jumping back and forth between decades made Rose s storysadpoignant I could feel her loneliness and pain I, unlike Rose, would have been mad as hell at having been locked up all those years I would have raged and fought She chose the path of forgiveness She is a survivor There is something quite beautiful in her ability to sit with her loss and loneliness and forgive those who have wronged her This book is beautifully written It s a big book with a lot of heart It has a very poetic and Gothic feel to it For some reason, while reading this book, I thought of other Gothic books such as Jane Eyre These books are not the same and do not have similar story lines, but they do both have a lot of atmosphere and have the same type of dreary feel to them.Seeof my reviews at www.openbookpost.com A wonderful, poetic book about love and memory Also pain, and loss, and how you can miss the most important thing in the world, even though it s right under your nose Ireland too, of course.We re all innocent Roseanne, locked up in an asylum for decades for no reason, or because she happened to be born with the wrong religion, or because the jealous people around her find her beauty too disturbing She never really knows why, but she manages to forgive her tormentors anyway, even the cruel Fr A wonderful, poetic book about love and memory Also pain, and loss, and how you can miss the most important thing in the world, even though it s right under your nose Ireland too, of course.We re all innocent Roseanne, locked up in an asylum for decades for no reason, or because she happened to be born with the wrong religion, or because the jealous people around her find her beauty too disturbing She never really knows why, but she manages to forgive her tormentors anyway, even the cruel Fr Gaunt At the same time, we re poor Doctor Grene, who s messed up his own life and those of three other people, because he got drunk one evening and acted without thinking of the consequences.He creates fantastic images The burning rat Her mother s clock The German planes, flying low over the sea on their way to bomb Belfast The hammers and the feathers I can still see them falling I was first introduced to Sebastian Barry with Days Without End published in 2016 and winner of the Costa Book Award and a Booker nominee Days Without End hit me like a ton of bricksso fabulously written and such a tale Did I ever imagine that another of his books could become so beloved Well the Secret Scripture has But it also made me REAL ANGRY.Set after the Irish Civil War, Roseanne Clear McNulty is about to turn 100 years old and wants to tell her story Roseanne has spent most of he I was first introduced to Sebastian Barry with Days Without End published in 2016 and winner of the Costa Book Award and a Booker nominee Days Without End hit me like a ton of bricksso fabulously written and such a tale Did I ever imagine that another of his books could become so beloved Well the Secret Scripture has But it also made me REAL ANGRY.Set after the Irish Civil War, Roseanne Clear McNulty is about to turn 100 years old and wants to tell her story Roseanne has spent most of her adult life confined to a psychiatric hospital in Ireland under tragic circumstances She is the victim of Father Gaunt, the Irish Catholic priest of her village Condemned for only talking to another man other than her new husband, the priest has made her out to be an adulteress and she looses everything Father Gaunt represents everything I hate about the Catholic Church The power priests in Ireland had over women, the abuse, the repression of sexuality and its people As a non practicing Irish Catholic I get so angry and disturbed by these fanatics I hate shelf righteous religious people, always black or white, always their way as there is no other Their opinion is the only one that exists I understand this so well as I was brought up in a born again Catholic family Sebastian Barry tells this heart wrenching story so well The Secret Scripture, which also won the 2008 Costa Award and Booker Prize nomination, is beautifully written and so poetic The ending was quite unexpected I listened to the audio as the narrator s brogue is so delightful Barry, an Irish playwright, novelist, and poet has become one of my favorite authors Recently he took over the title of Irish Poet Laureate from Anne Enwright another of Ireland s fabulous authors.If you are interested in the troubled history of Ireland, the Catholic Church s repression of their society, or just reading a novel by one of the finest authors living, don t miss.Highly recommend.5 out of 5 stars