After explaining the premise (it is about an illiterate, overweight 16 year old, who was sexually abused by her mother, impregnated twice by her father, suspended from school for being pregnant, and finally learning to read in an alt ed class) everyone wanted to know why I read it in the first place, and why I didn't put it down after the first chapter. So now, pretend you are my book club and I actually have a good response for you.
Reticent, I explained why/how I read it in the first place. I don't watch rated R movies and I saw Oprah was pushing the movie (Precious-based on the book) from Sundance and I knew it would be rated nothing less. But it had MoNique in it (who I enjoy)playing a dramatic role, so I thought I'd try it. (Sounded as lame then as it does now repeating it. Thankfully someone changed the subject.)
Here is what I should have said:
Once I was into the book, the victim advocate in me took over. Much of feminist writing emphasizes 'voice'--usually the loss of it. I felt a personal responsiblity to hear her voice. Victims often times are ignored or hushed because no one wants to hear the gory details. No one wants to hear the pain. No one wants to know things like that happen in places like this... SO, what? I can't read what happened to this woman, because it bothers me too much? That's not my style. She had to live through it. I know it doesn't make sense, and in hind sight, I should have walked away, but I was waiting for redemption. Some sort of salvation. I needed justice.
I forgot these stories don't end in justice. Instead, I was reminded of why I had to walk away from my passion in the first place. And thus my need for a rainbows and unicorns book.