Monday, October 19, 2009

Push by Sapphire

Set for limited release in the U.S. in November, 2009, under the title "Precious" (with none other than Oprah and Tyler Perry behind it,) Push is the story of a young woman who lifts herself out of dire circumstances to go from feeling like "nuffin'" to loving herself and her accomplishments.

Claireece Precious Jones, who goes by "Precious" has not had an easy life. Poor, illiterate and obese, she gave birth to her first child at the age of 12 (after being consistently raped by her father since a very young child) and is pregnant with her second (also by her daddy) at the age of 16. Living with her mother who also verbally, physically and sexually abuses her daughter, Precious is a child who has fallen through the cracks of society.

When her junior high principal points her in the direction of an alternative school, (after suspending her over her pregnancy,) Precious begins to turn things around. Her teacher at the school, Blue Rain, challenges and nurtures Precious to overcome her past, deal with the present and look toward the future. Through her interactions with the other students and Blue, Precious learns to love herself and take care of herself and her baby.

Although this is a little book, it is anything but light reading. Written from Precious's perspective, this is a difficult book to read, due primarily to the graphic subject matter. Precious is an amazing character - just when it seems as if everything is going right for her, she receives news that would shatter most people. This is a unique work of urban fiction with an unforgettable heroine - I am looking forward to the movie, which won both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

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