So, I just started and quickly finished Push by Sapphire. I know I am late on the Push-train but, much to my own dismay, I had never heard of the book until the movie buzz started and just found the time to read it this week. Like everyone else, I loved this book. It was horrifying, and uplifting all at once. Even though the main character, Precious, is not based on a real person her story rings all to true to thousands, no millions of women in the US and worldwide. Which is obviously disgusting. In thinking about the book I keep coming back to one quandary...fault. Who's fault is this tragic life? Who can we blame for such injustice? We can blame her father for raping her, robbing her of childhood, loving guidance from both parents, normal understanding of sex, healthy body image, handicapped daughter, etc., etc... BUT why would a father do such a thing to his baby daughter? Who can we blame for his behavior? And what about the mother? She abuses Precious just as much as her father does, but seems to be unable to understand the abuse because of her own ignorance and her husband's control. What about the system? The policies and nonchalance that let this child remain in an abusive home, have a child by her own father at 12 years old and another a matter of years later, be forgotten by the education system, allowed to be illiterate through adolescence.
Maybe it is futile to try to point my angry finger at someone or something. But how will we ever know how to fix the seemingly perpetual cycle of oppression, grief and abuse without understanding WHY and WHAT is supporting the continuance? Maybe the important lesson is that someone and something did break the cycle for Precious and I should point my finger at that intervention as a source of healing these reprehensible ills.
That being said, I highly recommend Push and am happy to support such a great female writer.