Push: A Novel by Sapphire

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Title: Push by Sapphire


This is the story of a young girl named Precious, told as she attempts to cope with and eventually leave an extremely abusive home.  She has been horrifically abused by both her mother and father since she was a small child.  As she gets a bit older and gains some confidence from the moral support she receives in her alternative classroom, Precious begins to stand up for herself.  She is able to escape her abusive situation and begin to make a new life and future for her son and herself.

My thoughts:

Here’s the first book from my Rainbow Cover Reading Challenge!

I feel like I just got run over by a semi.  This book is so intense that you will probably need some time to recover from the story, just like I did.  If you can make it through, you will find an amazing story of healing and restoration.

Now that I’ve finished Push, I’m glad that I did.  It’s not a book that I will ever want to revisit, though.  As a foster mom, I feel like it’s given me some amazing insight into what foster children may have faced, where their thinking and reactions might come from, and how a messed up home environment can cripple a child in all areas of their life.  For anyone who has had to care for foster children or children who have been abused, this book would make a good case study.

As a side note, I went in search of more information about the author, wanting to know if this story was purely made up or if it had some basis in her past experiences.  It turns out that Sapphire had been a remedial reading teacher in Harlem and started writing this story back then.  She met young black women who felt awful about themselves; she had a student who admitted that she had had children by her father.  This isn’t all made up people–it’s based in somebody’s reality.

I would only recommend Push to adults who have a good reason to read it, because of the huge amount of inappropriate stuff it contains.  I told my husband that as soon as I finished the book it would be going right out the door.  I did not want my kids getting their hands on it.

Possible Objections:

  • A ton of swearing, racial epithets, derogatory terms
  • A lot of sexually explicit material and language
  • Violence
  • Adult themes

 Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…






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