Tuesday, September 1, 2009


'Push' by Sapphire had to be one of the most challenging books I've ever read. I have to warn you, this book is not for everyone. Narrated by Precious, a young girl who is sexally abused by her mother and father, the book's descriptions and language are so raw and vivid, I could hardly get through it.

By the age of twelve, Precious has her first baby by her father. This baby, a daughter, is born with Down Syndrome and is immediately given to her grandmother. Although it is no secret that Precious is being molested, the abuse continues and by the age of sixteen, Precious is pregnant again. Unable to read or write, despite making passing grades at school, she is determined more than ever to make changes in her life and be a good mother. Unfortunately, Precious is expelled from school when it becomes apparent that she is pregnant. When the opportunity arises for her to attend an alternative school and work towards a GED, she jump at the chance. It is there she meets Mrs. Rain who teaches her to read and write and guides her in the direction of a new life.

Precious eventally gives birth to a baby boy whom she names Abdul. Torn between taking care of Abdul and continuing her education at the alternative school, she is forced out of her mother's home when her mother finds out she is unable to get welfare due to Precious' confessions to a social worker. She spends the night in a shelter but subsequently gets help from Mrs Rain who gets her a room at a center for new and unwed mothers. Precious begins to see some improvement in her life but escaping her past proves to be impossible when she is tested for HIV after finding out from her mother that her father has died; she is positive but her children are not. With the help of Mrs Rain and friends she met at the alternative school, Precious continues to strive for a better life despite many obstacles in her way.

I cannot honestly say I truly enjoyed the book because it was just so disturbing. Throughout the story, you want so much for Precious to get a break and then the book ends with you really not knowing for certain if Precious eventually gets her GED, a job or her own place, although you want it for her so badly. I was also curious about whether or not her mother was HIV positive. Would love to get other reader's opinion on this book. Let me know what you thought of it.


  1. how is it possible that so much hardship can befall one person. also one of the disturbing things to me from your account of reading the book, is did the author write about any consequences to the disgursting behavior of the parents, it seems the mother and father got away with sexually abusing their child. anyway, the book sounds too depressing for me to read. i deal with so much sadness, disease, death and dying, in my daily work life, reading about it too, is too much for me. but i am glad it was a good read though silvia.

  2. As I stated on the fan page, this book is definately not for everyone. Not sure I would recommend it to my friends, it was just so horrific. You're right, no consequences; the abuse was allowed to continue for years. It was Precious herself who decided she'd had enough and ran away.