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Precious: A True Story Hardcover – 2 Aug 2010

38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747584214
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747584216
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 749,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Precious Williams has been a Contributing Editor at Elle, the Mail on Sunday and Cosmopolitan and a Feature Writer at the Independent. Her articles have also appeared in Marie Claire, Glamour, the Financial Times, Korean Vogue, The Daily Telegraph, New York Magazine, the New York Post, the Mail on Sunday, The Times and dozens of other publications. Her journalism focuses on health & lifestyle features and celebrity interviews and notable intervewees include Nina Simone, Yoko Ono, Jon Bon Jovi, Lenny Kravitz, Naomi Campbell, Beyonce, Bryan Ferry, P Diddy, LL Cool J, Norah Jones and Lauryn Hill. Visit her at: www.preciousmemoir.com

Product Description

Review

A beautiful, haunting new Dickensian tale of growing up between two mothers and two motherlands, each making suffocating claims on a girl who I would have liked to call a friend. I'm so happy to have PRECIOUS now, reaching out over the years and the pond! --Catherine McKinley, author of THE BOOK OF SARAHS

"Brilliant, poetic, sensitive. A brave excavation of life for 'looked-after' African children in post-war, nationalistic Britain." Kriss Akabussi --Kriss Akabussi

"Raw, honest, heartbreaking and heart-warming, "Precious: A True Story" will linger in your soul long after the book is closed, reminding us all that there is nothing more powerful on earth than the human spirit." --Donna Hill, author of "What Mother Never Told Me"

'Powerful and arresting memoir' --The Bookseller

''Precious' is an extraordinary book. Alternately alarming and funny, always spare and beautifully crafted, this is a testament to the internal exile of subordinated social groups that no reader should miss.' --Denise Mina, author of 'The Dead Hour'

'An affecting memoir...' --Kirkus Reviews

'Precious' is an achingly beautiful triumph of will that is both heart-wrenching and hopeful.' -- Lolita Files, author of 'Child of God'

'Precious Williams is a vibrant, deliciously alive storyteller. With
attention to the choice incandescent detail, she holds the reader in
passionate immediacy of the moment. 'Precious' is an
unforgettable story of outrageous humor, heartbreak, and transcendence.'
--Lisa Teasley, author of 'Dive'

"Williams offers an English journalist's wry, charming memoir of being a black Nigerian girl growing up in a 1970s white foster home in a village of West Sussex, England...Her beautifully wrought memoir reaches back deeply and generously to regain the preciousness she felt lost to her." --Publishers Weekly

'Precious Williams' brave examination of identity and loss reminds us that by going into the heart of what we are most afraid of, we find our liberation.' -- Eve Ensler, creator of the Vagina Monologues

'Recounts how this London-born daughter of a Nigerian princess came to be raised by an elderly white woman on an English housing project.'
--Elle Magazine (US) "Recommended Read" for August 2010

'Astonishingly, there is little bitterness here: Williams's writing is accomplished -- pacey yet carefully spare, so that sadness and anger hover over her narrative rather than suffocate it. Such is the vividness of her characters and dialogue that, having unburdened herself, Williams now might choose -- with the promise of some success -- to turn her back on her day job as a journalist and find a powerful new voice by making the leap into fiction.' -- The Sunday Times

'Gorgeously written with a fiercely honest voice. Williams will grow up [to become] Precious, "the writer, the grown woman..." How she gets there is a serpentine road that's as shatteringly moving as it is incredible. This book is not so much a coming-of-age story as a harrowing coming-to-be tale.' --The Boston Globe

Book Description

A story of mothers and daughters, of a struggle with racial identity and a journey to find a sense of belonging --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LJLong on 14 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is more than just a memoir and has a lot to say about childhood, Britain in the 1970s, class, race, identity, culture and motherhood. In addition, the book examines the issue of black children fostered by white families and the emotional and identity based conflicts this causes.

Precious Williams achieves a sensitive exploration of all of these issues and produces a provocative, warm, disturbing and at times hilarious memoir; I was pleasantly surprised and I read it in one sitting. When I put it down I was both enlightened and moved: I had laughed, cried, bristled and learnt. Its the holiday season, put it on your essential reading list,get it in your suitcase or on your kindle or both and you will not be disappointed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Idd419 on 14 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
I first came across the book "Precious" at a book reading event where the author read an excerpt from the book. After which I thought I must get a copy. My short attention span means I can only read books that are gripping and capturing effortlessly. Or I am bored.

I found this book entertaining. And enjoyed the journey of being taken through a rollercoaster of sadness and crumbs of happiness. But most importantly, the enjoyment of the humour in which the story was narrated.

Precious is certainly thought provoking and touches on the various pros and cons of fostering and adoption in terms of race and environment; and various abuses that go unnoticed/ignored in foster care. Importantly, it touches on the danger of adults playing off against one another, which is detrimental to the child.

This book arouses interest and curiousity. So get the book, sit down and enjoy the train ride...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LisaB111 on 11 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
Her personal story transcends beyond touching those who can relate and those who empathise, as within lies qualitative data. Williams' experience highlights so many themes and paves the way for further discussions to be had on numerous levels; `race', identity, the signs and symptoms of behaviour, the affects of being placed into care, the impact this has on adult years and the more recent discussions of whether adoption should be colour blind, which in the UK is an ongoing debate.

Nanny clearly loved Precious, though love without the embracing of cultural differences had a major impact on self, self-worth and identity. Her story holds immense worth and can be used to inspire others who have had similar experiences and used to help find and incorporate new solutions for the promotion of a healthy considered adoptive system.

Captivating and heart-wrenching. Beautifully written and immensely powerful. This is a fabulous book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Marriott on 12 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
of growing up as a Black children in a white English home in the 1970s.

Although she was surrounded by people who cared for her my heart ached for someone to really get to know and understand Precious. And sadly we see how the past catches up with Precious in the way she tries to live her own life into adulthood.

I found this a brave and inportant account of culture, identity and different approaches to parenting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brilliant book I literally couldn't put it down. I read this because I went through a similar experience when I was young so reading it I felt a real close affiliation with Precious.

What I liked about the book was it was very fast paced which meant that it was very hard to put down and very truthful. I felt like Precious bared her soul which is never easy to do.

Reading this book I felt every emotion possible from Anger towards her mother, I kept saying to myself the cheek of this woman, laughter towards some of the things her uncle Mick does he always brings a bit of humour into the book, and reminds me of my uncle, sadness for the things Precious goes through and for her Nanny who I feel a bit sorry for though I felt a bit angry when Nanny and her mother play the guilt trip on Precious and then finally both Pride and disappointment, Pride at what Precious achieves but disappoint that she doesnt raise her own daughter and became a better mother than her own mother.

All in all a very good book. Though I think she still has more to tell.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anthea J on 1 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
What an excellent read! This was an easy to read page turner and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. A true life story about the issues of inter-cultural fostering and Precious' search for cultural identity. An honest and down to earth memoir.

I definitely recommend this!
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Format: Hardcover
This book felt like a cross between 'I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings' and 'The Bluest Eye'. It's the same kind of precocious talent that changes the way we look at our world. Reading the book, I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions. I laughed and I sobbed. I was so sorry this young girl had to suffer so terribly at the hands of those people who clearly meant well but did not do well by her. The only thing I didn't like was the fact that I don't know what happened to her afterwards. Where is she now? How is she? Was she affected by what happened? How? I loved this book but I need her to write the next phase. Excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mletkay on 12 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once I started reading the book, I could not lay it down. An interesting insight into Precious' life and I feel like I grew up with her. Looking forward to the next book.
Delivery was fast and efficient.
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