Sunday, July 11, 2010

Push by Sapphire

Push by Sapphire Knopf/June 11, 1996/Adult/179 pages Summary Claireece Precious Jones endures unimaginable hardships in her young life. Abused by her mother, raped by her father, she grows up poor, angry, illiterate, fat, unloved and generally unnoticed. So what better way to learn about her than through her own, halting dialect. That is the device deployed in the first novel by poet and singer Sapphire. "Sometimes I wish I was not alive," Precious says. "But I don't know how to die. Ain' no plug to pull out. 'N no matter how bad I feel my heart don't stop beating and my eyes open in the morning." An intense story of adversity and the mechanisms to cope with it. Review I saw the movie earlier this year (known as Precious) and you know, I always hate how movies don't exactly stay true to the book but, because of the many graphic and terrible parts, for once I am glad that this is the case for PUSH ! Goodness, right from the beginning the book is incredibly raw and intense.
The book is about Precious, who is an obese and illiterate 16 year old living in Harlem. I have to say, Sapphire really gets into the voice of Precious. Sometimes it is hard to read because the book is written in 1st POV and since Precious can not read or write, she writes words like 'father' as 'fahver.'
My heart went out to Precious, it truly did. Getting rape by her father and having kids by him (one with Down Syndrome,) being held back in school, disease, abused by her mother, etc. SO MUCH. I applaud Sapphire for writing this book. Some people might not believe that these things happen but, they do.
From seeing the movie, I pretty much knew a lot of what was going to happen but there was something that I was surprised about. Throughout the book Precious talks about Louis Farrakhan, who is the Head of the Nation of Islam. The book takes place in the 80's and I know that Farrakhan was living in Harlem at that time (I think) but there are quite a few references to him. I'm not sure if the character is supposed to be of the Islam faith. She also names her son Abdul so, maybe. Not a big deal or anything, I just wasn't expecting that.
Overall: Like the movie, I thought that book was an eye opener and great but it's too emotionally horrible for me to read more than once!
Overall Rating: 4 stars(I'
(I'm not following my usual rating system because I find this book difficult to rate but, I will say that the voice gets a 5!)not going to do my usual rating because I find it really hard to rate this book. Although, I have to give the voice a 5!) Cover: B. I like the simplicity of it. I have no idea what I would put on it if someone wanted an image instead of just text on the cover. PS. My father wanted to read this book after I finished but now that I read it, I feel that it will be wicked awkward if I give it to him to read so I'm just going to return it to the library...

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