After much anticipation and great reviews in the US, my eyes were brought to the attention of a new film featuring Mo’Nique and Mariah Carey, directed by Lee Daniels from Monster’s Ball. A film about a girl growing up in the projects who faced abuse by both her mother and father, pregant twice by her dad and her first child born with down-syndrome. A touching film and concept.
The film is based on a book called ‘Push’ written by African American ‘Sapphire’. Although it is not based on a a true story it was inspired by the lives of various women she encountered. It took me less than 42 hours to read the entire book as I was desperate to get to the end, which for me is a record.
Push a book by Sapphire covers the life of an overweight girl named Precious. Abused sexually by both her mother and father, she is a prime victim of a silent issue going on in todays society, but one that is rather masked. Haven given birth to her first child from her father, her daughter is taken away from her as she deals with down-syndrome and lives with Precious’ grandmother. She is expectant of her second child and we follow her life during this period, whilst she strives to get her GHD up and get an education.
The book is written in bad english as Precious struggles to read and write, so it really puts you the reader in her shoes. Though hard to grasp at first, once you get into the flow of it, its a hard one to put down.
The story progresses and in great depth explains the feelings of Precious. It goes into her thoughts during sex with her father or performing sexual acts on her mother and the detail of the explicit sexual events that took place. It was here I found the text quite disturbing and at times thought Sapphire didn’t need to go there in order to convey the story of Precious and girls like her. It was hard hitting and at those moments morbidly uncomfortable for me to read.
I found myself feeling extremely broken and miserable as I read the book as I was so engaged in completing it, it affected my mood and even my interaction with those around me. Which is a lot for book!
As the book comes to an end Precious happy ending remains rather vague. Although she has got an education and will be progressing onto High School, she still has the HIV virus and is left to care for her two children in the streets of Harlem, and the issue of her obesity is never raised.
It’s rather open ended and I found as a reader I didn’t get the closure that I had wanted as the reader, especially it being the story was fictional, but rather felt the impact of the abuse and was left feeling sorry for her and understood she had put an end to the cycle of the abuse.
Overall I found Push to be a warm warming book with a blend of both sadness and graphic imagery it leaves the reader disarranged and heart broken for the girl ‘Precious’. Sapphire has definitely brought the issue to light and Lee Daniels has helped to make this issue an internationally success with the film ‘Precious’ being a blockbuster and Gabby Sidibe and Mo’Nique winning awards for there performances left right and centre.
Overall I give ‘Push’ 3.5 Stars
Trailer for Precious – General release in UK February 2010