Posts Tagged "saphhire"
Push, by Sapphire, is one of those books you hear about, and assume is going to be a redemptive story of triumph, starting out sad and ending up, well…happy. I must admit, I am a sucker for off beat, alternative types of subject matter, and figured Push would be uplifting and empowering . As open minded as I feel that I am, I found myself horrified through most of this book. I’ve read about abuse, neglect, addictions, ect. But the author went a step further with this one. The abuse is so grossly depicted, nothing is left to the imagination. Claireece Precious Jones, the main character has had a rough life, to put it mildly. And it doesn’t help that she’s poor, angry, illiterate, overweight, unloved, unimaginably abused by her mother, and raped repeatedly throughout her childhood by her father. The book opens with Precious detailing her current pregnancy, revealing to the reader that it is in fact, her father’s baby. Her first baby (also by her father), whom she gave birth to at only twelve years of age, was born with Down Syndrome – or her words “down sinder.” From that point, I was sucked into this story; much like seeing roadkill, or a trainwreck -you know you should look away…but for some reason, you just can’t.
What brings the character of Precious to life is the ghetto, ebonic dialect used by the author, poet and singer Saphhire. Told in first person, and in “diary style”, Precious accounts her daily life of caring for her depressed, overweight, abusive mother. For example, even at twelve, she does all the cooking, and is forced to eat until she’s sick. She also details her experiences in school; how out of place she feels, the perceptions of others toward her. The inhumane acts she forces Precious to perform dating all the way back to her toddler years are so horrific and unsettling, I couldn’t sleep after reading it.