'Push' by Sapphire, Vintage Books: London, 1998 - another book that Alexander's girlfriend Simone lent me the other day. It is a book that she rates highly. Not the sort of book that I would normally read, it has to be said. But surprisingly, it kept me engaged and I read it quickly, in fact (it is only a small book mind - 140 pages). It is described as being 'The Colour Purple for the Nineties' - and 'The Colour Purple' was certainly a book that I found to be very powerful and engaging, and this is why Simone lent me 'Push', I think (a long time since I've read 'The Colour Purple' though).
'Push' is really a very tragic story, about a 16-year old girl black Precious who is raped by her father and now has 2 children as a result of it. Her education has obviously been completely messed up; the book is written in the first person and we witness Precious trying to express herself, through her tragically poor and inadequate English. How brave she is. One can feel the pain that she is going through. And to add insult to injury she then discovers that she is HIV positive.
How can any one human bear so much pain? And yet somehow she does, and through it all she still manages to be cheerful in some way.
The book deals with some really important social issues, although I must admit that I did find it very painful and disturbing, and I am not sure that I would want to read too many books like that! But thanks for lending it to me Simone. It certainly made me think.