Friday, March 19, 2010

Book Review - Push by Sapphire

**Spoiler Alert

The impeccable acting had the movie towering over the book

As I always try to do, I read the book Precious (or Push, as it was originally titled) before watching the movie. This is one of the rare occasions where I can say that I enjoyed the movie over the book, but only because of the outstanding performance by Mo'nique, and some of the director's effects.

That being said, Sapphire's ability to portray Precious' voice through the use of Ebonics, grammatical errors, and phonetically spelled words -which improved with her progressing literacy- was very affective. I also found the description of Precious' dissociative states that she would lapse into due to her severe circumstances to be very telling and accurate, as this is often a form of escapism victims of severe trauma encounter.

Despite these strong aspects of the story, I found myself at odds with the glowing praise that I had heard about Precious over the last year, and was overall disappointed, as I ultimately felt it was lacking closure. At the end of both the book and the movie I found myself wanting more, needing to know what happened next. Does Precious make it through her education? Does she get Mongo back? Does she go on to live a long life despite her illness? I realize her resilience in order to have come as far as she had with such an abusive and heinous upbringing -that is inspiring- but from what do I draw my conclusions on her eventual outcome?

It is clear that Sapphire is showing how knowledge is power, and if you work hard and push through your misfortunes you can have redemption, but was that really the case for Precious? I wouldn't expect a perfect ending, or even a tragic one, just not one so anti-climactic and stagnant. Nonetheless, whatever portion was shared of Precious' story is important and needed to be told, if for nothing else, to inspire other disenfranchised and struggling girls in similar circumstances to push through.

3/5 Snakes


  1. I have put off reading Push and the movie Precious for such a long time, and because of this review, I've decided to abandon the book and go for the movie since it's better. :) Great review!

  2. Thanks Elle, I look forward to hearing what you thought of the movie. The acting is definitely mindblowing, by both Mo'Nique and Gabourey Sidibe. Just be prepared to be disturbed...

  3. Hey Peachy !
    Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting on this same book! I went to check your review out and I agree on the film version being quite incredibly a good if not better version of the story. In the film i like also the secondary characters, they are very colorful and seem truthful. The end is anticlimactic, but I thought it was a happy ending, in the sense, as happy a ending as Precious could get. The book and film are just mind-blowing !

  4. Hey Caroline! You're right, there was a lot more intimacy with the secondary characters in the movie, which I also appreciated.

    Thanks for dropping by and becoming a follower. ;-)