I had only two words to say when I finished this book at four this morning… holy crap! (Okay, so those aren’t exactly the two words that I said but one of my most loyal blog followers is only 10 so edited myself a tad bit. Hi, Erik!)
Clarieece Precious Jones was only 12 years old when she gave birth to her first child.
At 16, Precious, she hates to be called Clarieece, is still in middle school and pregnant with her second child. Despite the fact that she can’t read, she goes to school every day and gets decent grades. Math is her favorite class. She’s been held back a few times but eventually the teachers pass her on to the next grade. But now, she is suspended from school for being pregnant.
Precious is an extremely lonely girl. She has been raised to believe that she is nothing. She has endured horrific abuse at the hands of both of her parents. She has no friends, no family to care for her, no one to love her. Sometimes she prays that she won’t wake up in the morning.
After being kicked out of school, she is accepted into an alternative pre-GED program where she finally has the courage to tell her teacher that every page in the book looks the same. Under the guidance of a caring teacher and the friendship of the other troubled girls in her class, Precious begins a difficult journey to freedom, as fleeting as it may be.
I bought this book a few years ago, right after the movie was released. And in that time it has lived on the bookcase in my bedroom. Every time I go to the shelf to pick a new book I passed over this one, the red spine staring out at me. So, when I had to choose a book that started with the letter P for my April reading challenge, I decided that I would finally get around to reading Push.
Last night, or this morning since it was 2am, I was getting ready for bed, and I decided to read the first few pages to see how I liked it. Big mistake.
Two hours later I was finished, it was 4am, and I was wide awake thinking about what I had just read.
Push is horrifying and amazing, heartbreaking and hopeful, all at the same time. Sapphire allows Precious to tell her own story, in her own words. As I read, I found that I was hearing the voice of Precious telling me the story. I forgot that Sapphire existed. I forgot that Precious was a figment of her imagination; that the entire story was make-believe. To me, that is the mark of an excellent story-teller.
At less than 200 pages, it’s a fast read, even for people who don’t read quite as quickly as I do. *wink*
It isn’t an easy story to read simply due to the subject matter. And it’s certainly not a happy story. Precious endures horrific abuse which made my heart hurt for her as I read. I will admit that I cried once or twice. But in the end, it was worth it.
Before reading the book I did want to see the movie. And while I can typically separate books from their cinematic counterparts, I’m not sure I want to see it anymore. Not just because of the abuse and violence that must be depicted in the film, but because I’m just not sure that a film could do the simplicity of the book the justice that it deserves.
- Precious by Sapphire (arlasworld.wordpress.com)