i wanted to read the novel push by sapphire after hearing about the movie adaptation "precious" that came out in 2009. i read the book once back in 2009, but just recently got around to seeing the movie- so i wanted to re-read the book to refresh me before viewing the film.
precious jones is 16 years old, and pregnant with her 2nd child- by her own father. she's illiterate, abused by her mother, and has just been kicked out of school for being pregnant. her principal sets her up in an alternative school where her teacher sees precious not just as another casualty of harlem and the system, but as a person with an opportunity to become somebody.
this book is a hard read. it's written from the point of view of precious and i guess you could call that a ghetto dialect. you must remember that although she has gone to school, that she is for the most part, uneducated. if you can read through the dialect, then the book is a pretty "easy" read... the novel is short (less than 200 pages). you begin through precious's thoughts and dialogue with people around her, and by the end you are reading through her writing. what makes this a tough read is the actual words and nature of the story. precious explains her sexual, verbal and physical abuse in very graphic detail- it's hard to stomach, and hard to believe that people actually go through things like that in life. that people are hurt by those they trust the most. hurt by those who were put on this earth to be their protectors. precious goes to show that despite your past, you can pick yourself back up and work to have a successful life, despite whatever plans the "system" may have for you. so as painful as the book is to read, you're definitely cheering for precious to pick herself up and get her life together- and what's in store for precious will definitely have you cheering!
the movie is equally painful to watch in that you actually see the abuse with your eyes, but it can't touch the book in getting into the innermost thoughts of precious. it also doesn't give you as deep of a look into precious's journey to literacy and her journaling with her teacher, blue rain.
overall, i enjoyed both. great read, despite the heavy subject matter. award-winning film.
book 4/5. movie 4/5