How many of you watched the movie Precious? How many read the book Push by Sapphire? It was such a powerful story that there were certainly times that I burst into tears while reading. But in that story there was...dare I say; HOPE.
Not so with Sapphire's latest story, The Kid. This story is painful. It's definitely not fair of me to say this when I'm far from the end. But I'm struggling to finish it and I often times find myself grimacing while I read. This is the story of Precious' son, Abdul and it takes place at her funeral when Abdul is 9. This doesn't give away any details of the story as this is what is written on the cover.
When I picked up this book, it was with the hope that although Precious had lived a life of abuse that she was able to give her son something more. I was disappointed to see that this was another tale of childhood abuse...and abuse that is described with incredible detail--details that I don't want.
I closed the book at the 2nd chapter, sickened by what I was reading. Though I may sound as if I am bashing The Kid, I'm not. Sapphire's writing is beautiful, like poetic prose. And Abdul is a boy/young man that is intelligent, hardened, and so pitiful. But when you can bring vivid life to a character, when you take the time to develop your hero and to cause the reader to hope for them, to fall in love with them and then you heap abuse on them, then yes, you have succeeded in 'moving' your reader. But at what price? So that they can close the book before finishing it??
I read several of the reviews; each stating that this is not a book for the sensitive. I took 2 days away from the story before picking it up again, this time with the knowledge of what I would be reading. I'm happy I did. I'm still reading it, and it's still painful, but there is a beauty in this story, and a message. It's such a simple message--and yet people still don't get it.
Treat the children with respect and love--if not for the people that they are now, but then for the men and women that you want them to become.