I’m a big fan of books written in vernacular if the voice rings true and the book is short. Luckily, this book does not overstay its welcome. If you ignore the final essays at the end, Push is all of 150 pages long. Your average reader could mow through its text in a single sitting. But I will warn you, if you’re a self-proclaimed Grammar Nazi, your head could possibly explode. Rest assured, though, all errors and broken syntax is on purpose.
Push (or the movie tie-in title Precious), by Sapphire, is an emotionally-charged look at a sexually-abused girl and her struggle to become literate and do better for her and her children. The book is written from this molested teenager’s point of view, so you will experience her growth both in the areas of reading and maturation. The novel is equally funny and heart-wrenchingly bleak. But it is the honesty of the voice that struck me the hardest. This is not a biography. These things did not actually happen. But it feels like the relaying of true events.
Not often am I disgusted to the point of wanting to put a book down, but this book caused me to lay it aside several times. Even so, I managed to read it in a 24-hour period. Herein you will experience the most vile human behavior told in the simplest language. Poor Precious cannot win. But her struggle is fascinating. And the best part is, even at rock bottom, she finds hope.
In summation: A truly touching novel. Reading this is like witnessing the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into butterfly. Highly recommended with the caveat that this novel is sometimes hard to read due to both content and intended spelling and grammatical errors.
Final Judgment: A master class in human evil.