Push - Sapphire

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Synopsis: Precious Jones, an illiterate sixteen-year-old, has up until now been invisible: invisible to the father who rapes her and the mother who batters her and to the authorities who dismiss her as just one more of Harlem's casualties. But when Precious, pregnant with a second child by her father, meets a determined and highly radical teacher, we follow her on a journey of education and enlightenment as Precious learns not only how to write about her life, but how to make it her own for the first time.


Review: I don't really feel qualified to review this book, as it is so far beyond the scope of any experience I have ever had - socially, culturally, personally, sexually - on literally no level am I qualified to offer an opinion on the content of this novel. Originally, I wasn't going to write a review. It is, however, such a powerful piece of writing, with such an undercurrent of motivation and inspiration running through it despite the atrocious things that happen and which are very real for a lot of people out there, that I felt it important to say at least a few words about it.

Precious Jones is a girl who has had an incredibly tough life from a very young age - so young that despite the fact she knew she was suffering, she didn't know any better. Now she is 16 and developing the self-awareness and attitude to change her situation, enabled and encouraged by a teacher and classmates. Throughout the novel we read both Precious's thoughts and her journal entries as she learns to read and write, as well as cope with pregnancy, motherhood and becoming independent. Although she has her bad days, she always manages to pick herself up and learns to accept and love herself for who she is. I honestly adored her, she's a phenomenal character with incredible will power who slogs through a nightmare I cannot even begin to imagine and she does it with such determination. Despite the darkness there are quite a few moments of humor in this book.

I have to mention the incredibly descriptive passages of child abuse and other harrowing events, however - I couldn't in good conscience let someone pick this up without having some idea what they're in for. It's pretty sickening, but at the same time, it's the truth for a lot of kids out there, which is why I think this is a pretty important read. If you can bear it, it's definitely worth it. Even if you can't bear it, I think it's the kind of thing that's worth exposing yourself to.

Rating: 4/5

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