Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Push" by Sapphire

"An electrifying first novel that shocks by its language, its circumstances, and its brutal honesty, Push recounts a young black street-girl's horrendous and redemptive journey through a Harlem inferno. For Precious Jones, 16 and pregnant with her father's child, miraculous hope appears and the world begins to open up for her when a courageous, determined teacher bullies, cajoles, and inspires her to learn to read, to define her own feelings and set them down in a diary."

That is an excellent description of a very moving, very poignant, story of young Precious Jones who works doggedly to reclaim the life that was stolen from her by her rapist father and her angry, abusive mother. At first I had a hard time getting into this story because it is told by Precious in her own guttural language derived from the culture she grew up in. She speaks almost phonetically, as in "muhver" and "fahver". But her story draws you in so quickly that before long you feel yourself feeling her anger, her pain and suffering, and her happiness. Precious is truly a remarkable character and is a wonderful example of courage and grace. I grew to love and admire Precious Jones.


bookjourney said...

I have heard about this book - obviously at our book club as well as through a few other sources. I am not sure if it would be a fit for me... the language may be a struggle and if I remember right isnt it pretty graphic as well?

bermudaonion said...

I had to adjust to the language at the beginning of this one, too, but I don't think the book would have been the same without it. Great review!

rerahre said...

Thank you ! And, yes, it can be graphic. But that goes to show us what kind of environment she was raised in. People thought nothing of it speaking like that in front of her or to her.