An electrifying first novel that shocks by its language, its circumstances, and its brutal honesty, Push recounts a young black street-girl’s horrendous and redemptive journey through a Harlem inferno. For Precious Jones, 16 and pregnant with her father’s child, miraculous hope appears and the world begins to open up for her when a courageous, determined teacher bullies, cajoles, and inspires her to learn to read, to define her own feelings and set them down in a diary.
There’s something to be said about a novel that sits with you and unsettles you after a reading. It took me two months to finish this book – not because it was horrible, but rather because it was painfully good. So good, in fact, that I had to put the book down several times initially and distance myself from the pain in Precious’s world. Readers of the faint of heart should probably take caution with the language, as it is blunt, harsh, and graphic. Sapphire (AMERICAN DREAMS), an affiliate with the famed Nuyorican Poets Cafe, utilizes language as a transformative device in Precious’s world. Although I struggled to read the beginning parts of Precious’s diary entries as they were nearly illegible, I found myself empathizing with Precious as she narrates her history of abuse, incest and subsequent pregnancy. Precious symbolizes the thousands of kids who fall through the cracks of our system every day, and I’m glad that Sapphire brought these issues to light in this must-read book.
5 out of 5 stars