Hard to Read, but Hard to Put Down: Push by Sapphire

Posted by Steph on March - 25 - 2013
PushSapphireAdult FictionRating: 4

Adult Fiction
Rating: 4

Push by Sapphire is quite the piece of literature. It is moving, brutal, eye-opening, hard-to-read-yet-hard-to-put-down, and all around a story that should be read by lots and lots of people.  However, after reading the book, I really don’t know if I can stomach watching the movie. It was pretty rough. There’s a lot of violence, sexual abuse, and tons of swearing.  But the message of overcoming and “pushing” through life’s obstacles no matter how difficult they are, which is thrown at you throughout the story, is so unbelievably powerful it will definitely change your way of thinking after you’re through with the book.

The story follows 16 year old Precious on her journey from her destructive home life, where she has had one child by her father already (yes, her father), is pregnant with the second and is beaten by her mother, then steps onto a path where she meets new people who care and are willing to teach her how to read and write.  She faces so many incomprehensible difficulties along the way, but always seems to push right on through.  It is truly moving.

Sapphire does a wonderful job at showing transitions in Precious’ character throughout the story by her wonderful usage of the stream of consciousness writing style.  Every once in while it’s interesting to read a story written from this point of view because it offers such a unique perspective on the main characters’ progression and thought process and this story is a fantastic example.

I finished the book in under a day. It’s not a long read, but it will shake you up.  After the first two pages of reading, I knew that’s where a lot of people were going to stop reading.  It’s riddled with derogatory terms, incorrect grammar, and swearwords, but they are there to prove a point of the lifestyle lived by the main character, Clareece Precious Jones.  Sure, I would have appreciated a few less “F” bombs (it’s quite shocking to me) but, wow, it packs a punch when you realize that this is the environment the character had actually grown up in and it’s supposed to be shocking.  I also could have done without the descriptive incest, rape, molestation scenes, but whoa, was I completely naïve.  Sure everyone “knows” it happens, but reading about a first-hand account (fictionalized, okay) and then the mental repercussions, it really hits home.

Okay, now I need to go find something less deep and depressing to read…

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