push by sapphire

I really do have a crazy schedule but I couldn’t resist reading this book last night.  It took away two hours of my bed time but I could say that it was definitely worth it.  Push by Sapphire uncovers the deepest, darkest, and devastating secret of America in the 1970s: incestuous relationships.  The protagonist, Precious, and her raw sexual, graphic, and grammatically incorrect narration grips the reader to the core of her thoughts from the very first page to the very last.

Being physically abused and molested by her overweight mother and raped since seven, Precious is sixteen and is at the verge of bearing the second child of her own father.  How much of a scumbag do you have to be to rape your own daughter when she’s only in second grade?  She recollects the first time after her father had raped her.  She was neatly dressed to school but was by far very different from the other children when she noticed that his dried-up sperm had tainted her pretty pink dress. Uneducated, illiterate, poor and pregnant, she’s strong-headed yet fragile; persistent yet lost.  She’s blunt and belligerent.  She has never been loved.  But she has nothing to lose.  The one thing that helps her to push through the unfathomable physical and mental wreck is her unconditional passion.

Apparently, this is Sapphire’s only book published since 1999.  It didn’t receive much recognition when it was first published but after a few years later, a renowned feminist agent began advocating the success of the book.  It eventually became a film, Precious, which was informed earlier this year.

I wouldn’t have liked the book if it was a happy ending – well, I guess that’s a bit debatable.  Precious got me laughing and heart-clenching simultaneously.  It really must have been her vulgar and uncensored thoughts that made the story extremely dynamic and real.

dee’s recommendation: 4/5