Friday 14 January 2011

Good Reads!

If you are looking for a good read, The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry is the book for you.  It tells the story of Roseanne, a patient in a mental hospital who is approaching her hundredth birthday.  She was placed in the hospital as a young woman, her records have been lost, and no one knows why she is really there.  A psychiatrist, Dr Grene is trying to find out her story as the hospital is about to shut down and Roseanne has to be placed elsewhere.  Meanwhile we also hear Roseanne's own story against the backdrop of twentieth century Irish history.
it’s a real page turner, as you impatiently try to understand why Roseanne was incarcerated - there's a interesting twist at the end.

This book reminded me of The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell.  It’s a similar tale of an older woman who has been incarcerated for many years, the hospital is closing down and she needs to be placed somewhere.  Set in Scotland, it is a fascinating story of moral attitudes in the mid twentieth century and the plight of many, not just women, who were "put away" because they did not conform to society's view of correct behaviour or were just caught up in the system and forgotten about.

Both of these books are thought-provoking reads and I would recommend them if you like books which are more than a fluffy tale.

If you think these stories are pure fiction - check out this BBC News story from 2007!
(Hope link works - let me know - fingers crossed!)

Love, Liz


Karen Mills said...

Very interesting link. What a shame for Jean and she hadn't stolen the money after all!!!

Shortbread and Ginger said...

Hi Karen, yes, its hard to believe that someone could just be forgotten! Liz