“The cover of the book is black with a very artistic rendering of one teardrop caught traveling down a dark brown face. Kinda sad—poignantly so. I get the feeling I’ll be lead through quite a bit of heartache. But according to the title, centered in bold white letters, there is hope at the end of this tunnel. The summary on the back cover mimics the information included in the “About the Author” page. This is her second book.
I am Precious is the autobiography of Shar Caldwell-Robinson beginning at age 12 and continuing through 2010. The title suggest some affinity to the movie based on Sapphire’s bookPush, and it is confirmed when the author describes an episode of Monique’s show shortly after the movie aired. During the show, Monique pointed to the TV audience and said “you are precious.” With countless references to Mary J. Blige and self-reflective questions throughout, it gives the feel of a spiritual self-help book.
“When my time is up, I do not want my funeral to be the place people find out who I am.” With as much poetry as prose, it’s too short to be a true biopic – 20 years in approximately 300 pages soft cover. However, it’s worth seeing the poems in print if you’ve ever experienced a Shar poetry performance. Overly descriptive chapter titles but little depth of characters led me to believe I’m not the audience for which this book was intended. I couldn’t identify with the scenarios and there was an overwhelming feeling of reading someone’s diary. She tells the good, bad and ugly -- the rationalizing, the warped sense of self, the poor perception, the writing flaws, the anger. I sometimes felt like an intruder or an older sister peering into the private world of my younger, hurting sibling. There were so many “huggable” moments.
“I remember how I felt the moment I just accepted her and stopped feeling like she was out to get me.” Consistently the victim and incessantly struggling, I’m not sure the Shar in the book is open to suggestion and, ultimately, change; but she does. What was most notable was the way she perceived the people with whom she interacted. It underscored the fact that someone is always watching and interpreting my actions and encouraged me to be a positive influence.
“People saw me, people heard me, or whether they thought I or my ideas mattered or not, it was up to me to respond in love and not feel like ‘woe is me.’ I am free to be me, love me, and like me and not be hurt by who thinks otherwise.” This book is a must read for women who have been abused, are struggling and think no one listens or understands. Shar tells her story to help you heal so that one day you can lift your voice as well. Everyone has a story to tell. ”