Friday, March 19, 2010

PUSH by Sapphire

The story of Precious Jones is incredibly powerful.  It might even require a word of caution - the language is strong and the images are horrible.  Yet, PUSH is a book that speaks the truth for many victims of sexual abuse.  As I read, I lost count of the number of times Precious's revelations caused me to gasp. 

Precious is a sixteen year old black girl about to give birth to her second child.  This child and the baby with Down's Syndrome she gave birth to at age twelve both share the same father and that father is Precious's father, too.  As she tells her story, she recalls abuse that began when she was only three.  Instead of protection, her mother offered only jealous rage, threats, and beatings.  Now her father is gone, and her mother blames that on Precious, too.

Unable to read or write, life looks hopeless for Precious until she learns of a special school.  With it comes the promise of a GED and maybe more.  With a little help, Precious is enrolled, and after a frightening first day, she begins to connect with Blue Rain, the teacher of the pre-GED classroom.  Precious discovers there are others just like her, with tragic stories and messed up lives.  She works hard to catch up and prove that she can be worth something to herself and her children.

PUSH by Sapphire is the book that inspired the movie PRECIOUS.  It's not surprising that this heart-wrenching story would capture the attention of some movie producer or director.  Right now I'm still digesting the horror that is life for Precious and don't know if I will ever go to see the movie.  All I do know is that this young girl and her story will be staying in my mind for a very long time.

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