Wednesday, December 9

Push/Precious by Sapphire

Wow. What. A. Powerful. Book.

I first heard about the book on another forum, Obesity Help. The poster read it and wanted to know if anyone had. The synopsis she gave sounded really depressing but I was intrigued and so I went to request it from the library. That was in *June*. The waiting list was miles long.

Since then, I forgot about it.

The book is actually called Push originally but I understand the author, Sapphire, renamed it to match the name of the heroine and the title of the newly released movie. Yes, a movie has been released, called Precious and I am scared to see it!

The heroine is a 16 year old girl named Precious Jones. She lives with her mother in Harlem and has a harsh, depressing life. She's been traumatized and severely abused by both her parents and at the beginning of the book, she is pregnant with her second baby by her father. Her mother, one of the most hateful and despicable characters I've ever had the displeasure to read about, not only blames Precious for "taking" her man away she also engages in some really perverted abuse of her own--on her own child.

Precious is illiterate but still goes to school. She sits in the back and tries to learn and actually has a good aptitude for math. No one can reach her, although she does like her math teacher.

She's suspended (or was it expelled?) from school for being pregnant. The story starts in 1987 and since when was that a reason for expulsion anymore? Anyway, the principal (if that's who it was) has a change of heart somewhat and comes to Precious' flat in Harlem to tell her about an alternative school.

That's really when Precious' life begins. She shows up to apply for admission to the program and is placed with a wonderful teacher. She is in a class with others who are struggling with their own demons and trying to learn too. The teacher wants everyone to write everyday in a journal. At first Precious is very skeptical. How can she write if she doesn't know how?

But she starts with just a few letters she knows from the words she wants to say. The teacher writes in the spelling of these words below and then adds a response. For the first time, Precious feels she's made a connection with someone and can communicate.

You would think that this is one of those feel-good books that starts out so miserably and ends on a happy note. I wish that was the case but in this story, life keeps getting in the way of Precious' plans. It's sad but it's also inspiring and more true to life this way.

It's not a big book and so I was able to finish it in just a couple of days.

Back to the Christmas challenge...although in its own way, this book was part of that too. It was a gift to read it.

No comments:

Grace In Small Things

Blog Archive

Bloggers 50 & Over