Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Secret Scripture

by Sebastian Barry

Roseanne Clear (McNulty) is 100 years old and has spent the majority of her life in a mental institution that is now getting ready to be torn down. The new facility cannot hold as many patients so it is going about determining who to release, based on records.... but no one has the admitting records for Roseanne. There seems to be no reason why she is there, and now the search is on.... Let's just say her life was a mess! Most of this is discovered from her own personal journal written for her child. To me, a lot of her history smacks of The Scarlett Letter, in updated English, never the less it is an intriguing tragedy. 
The narration flips perspective between Roseanne and Dr. Green, the attending physician who is researching her case, so that between his findings and her diary you piece together her disastrous life. At times you wonder if she remembers things correctly, as his findings contradict her retelling, but all things settle in the end.
For me, the "surprise ending" came as no surprise, so I'd wonder if it was for others.

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