• Review of The secret scripture

      Baker, Charley (2010)
      Reviews the book, The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry (2008). The book is a triumphant and demanding book, winner of the 2008 Costa Book of the Year award, this multilayered narrative not only focuses on the need to tell our own stories, but also on the demand for these stories to be heard, reflecting its own demand as a novel. The book reads with urgency to be heard and to be told. This novel contains and explores a number of crucial issues in both history and more specifically the history of psychiatry. It provides a critique of the then-absolute and unquestioned power of Catholicism in Ireland. Notions of abuse within institutional settings are explored. This novel is a mediation on memory -on who remembers and how, on the accuracy of aging memory and whether this actually matters; and on loneliness and loss. The novel can be reflected upon by clinicians as a mediation on story telling and story creating - on who we listen to, whose version of the story is given more credence, and on whose interpretation matters the most. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)