Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Precious: A True Story” as Want to Read:
Precious: A True Story
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Precious: A True Story

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  272 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
Precious A story of growing up black in a white community, of struggling to find an identity that fits amid conflicting messages, of deciphering a childhood full of secrets and dysfunction. Full description
Hardcover, 241 pages
Published August 2nd 2010 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published January 1st 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Precious, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Precious

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,436)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 29, 2010 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All I can say is wow! What a moving, incredible story. It is a story about overcoming adversity and prevailing against life's imperfect circumstances. Precious writes her story with an honesty and clarity that is sometimes lacking in memoirs. Her writing style is smooth and the story flows nicely. This story was not written to amuse, or to make the reader laugh. It is a poignant story that at times, hurts your heart, and at other times fills it with hope.

I was unaware of the practice of the fost
Aug 14, 2010 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Precious Williams is placed in a foster home by her Nigerian mother three months after her birth. “Nanny,” her white foster mother in her late fifties, raises her in an all-white neighborhood in Sussex, England.

Precious’ birth mother visits irregularly and when she does show up she’s abusive physically and emotionally with no regard for the harmful situations she’s placing her daughter in.

Williams’ story is about her search for identity. The memoir focuses primarily on her childhood and teen yea
Kat Alexander
FREE BOOK ALERT. NO EFFECT ON REVIEW. Consider that a disclaimer.

Well, it's true. The truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. And with that, I might add, unmistakably more painful.

Precious Anita Williams was born to a Nigerian mother, but she's also British. She lives in the threatening shadow of her mother, an abusive though distant presence in Anita's life, given that she's lived with Nanny, her 57-year-old foster mother, and Nanny's daughter, Aunt Wendy, for most of her life. In Color Blin
Oct 19, 2014 Melyssa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. The description sounded interesting, but I really thought it would be a "look how much I accomplished despite how terrible my early life was" type of story. Instead, it was an honest look at a difficult childhood, but the author was unsparing of herself as well. Very impressive.
Jul 28, 2010 LiteraryMarie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mother decided she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, raise a child. She wasn’t struggling to make ends meet. She wasn’t a student trying to obtain a degree. In fact, she was a Nigerian princess. Yet one September day in 1971, she dropped her daughter off in a basket on a white woman’s doorstep.

Private fostering is supposed to be temporary; yet, nothing about Precious Anita Williams life is traditional. Her case is a little different. She lives in a small English town called Woodview with a white sixty-ye
Niki Sorensen
Sep 07, 2013 Niki Sorensen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
What a wonderful book. I was lucky enough to win an ARC of Color Blind: A Memoir by Precious Williams. Ms. Williams' book made a dent in my heart. I feel like I want to say, "I understand." I understand the different stages that the author explained as she unraveled the story of her unique life.

This book made me cry several times, I think because Ms. Williams is able to write in such a way that I was able to feel what she felt and see what she saw. I don't want to give away the details of her b
Given away a few days after birth by her absent and awesome Nigerian mother, Precious Anita Williams is raised in a small town in England by a white family. Color Blind deals with the issue of race, gender, and growing up.

Completely written in the present tense, Ms. Williams throws the reader into the events of her childhood, from her germiphobic adoptive mother to the wild moods of her biological mother to compelling scenes of abuse. Once submerged into the tangled web of the memoir, it is dif
Michael Logan
Oct 05, 2012 Michael Logan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being from Glasgow, I am generally a cynical old get with withered emotions, but there were points in this book that almost made me cry. Sometimes clichés are the best way to express things, so I am just going to come out and say that this is a powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

Precious Williams endured things no human should ever have to suffer and yet she has come through it all to blossom into a wonderful author, who writes with brutal honesty and clarity.

Primarily, th
Amy L. Campbell
Note: This is a review of an Advanced Copy received from the First Reads program, I do my best to review fairly.

This is everything a memoir should be. There's grit and dirt and honesty. Time also has a very real presence in the novel, we definitely get a good glimpse of what it was like to grow up in the '70's and 80's in the United Kingdom. And even though we only get to see brief moments of how Williams turned her life around, this is not a depressing read. There are hard moments, but they are
Aug 12, 2010 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 25, 2010 Marcy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"THIS, I AM TOLD, is how it begins..."

Precious Williams, at the age of three months old, is dropped off by her elegant and disinterested Nigerian mother to be brought up by a sixty year old, white haired, white foster mother who lives in the poor suburb near London. "Nanny," her daughter Wendy, and her husband, who live directly behind her mom, bring up "Anita." Anita is the only "coloured" girl at her school, and she suffers "raciality." She is brought up white, at the request of her biological
Jun 14, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 pu
Aug 04, 2010 Iris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really interesting story, and unlike anything I've read before. That's not to say that there aren't other books like this one, but for me it was different, unique, and enlightening. Precious' story is both heartbreaking and inspiring. While she has overcome so much to become a successful writer, she is still haunted by her past and a mother that never showed her how to love and be loved. There are lessons to be learned from this book and truths that we'd rather ignore, but there is al ...more
Susan (The Book Bag)
Wow! What an amazing book! And what an amazing woman, to come through the ordeal called her life, to make it to where she is today.

Even though she was given up to a foster home as a baby by a mother who apparently couldn't be bothered with a child, unless it was convenient for her, Precious spend most of her life looking for love and acceptance from her mother. This book was at times very disturbing to read, I can't even imagine what it would have been like to live this life.

The author did surv
Nov 12, 2011 Carly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I loved this book and read it very quickly, as I was so interested in what happened to this little girl. It is a very raw and honest memoir of Precious life. I went through a world wind of emotions reading this, I was crying,happy and angry at some parts. This book is very well written and to the point. Precious is an inspirational lady and I thank her for sharing her story with us. The only thing for me is I would of liked to have found out more, like did she see her mother again?, Her sister a ...more
Jun 24, 2011 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I was just fascinated by the cultural aspects of this book. I did not know that it was common practice for Nigerians to have their children fostered in Europe. I was enthralled by Precious Williams' description of her childhood as an African growing up in an all-white English town. Then I was heartbroken for her. She describes the emotional trauma that stemmed from wondering if her mother loved her, from wondering why she was so different from everyone else in her town. It was at times ...more
Aug 26, 2013 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading a memoir I always wonder if I have a right to review or rate it. In this instance I can honestly say that this is one of the most forthright, honest, and interesting memoirs I've read in quite a while. No 'poor, poor pitiful me' or 'drama' for the sake of selling this work.

If you want to read a book that leaves you feeling like you've learned and felt a lot and still have much to process then this one's for you.

I'm happy to say that the ending is not sappy or totally predictable.
Jul 27, 2010 Suep rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Faye Bierbower
Aug 14, 2010 Faye Bierbower rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just proving that I really will read anything ... I received this as an Advanced Reading Copy through the First Reads program. This is a gripping memoir which strives to give an honest--and sometimes disturbing--reflection of the author's early life. Although not everyone might relate, I found it fascinating (read this in less than a day, aside from riding three horses and setting-up for a horse show!). In sum, highly recommended to anyone who is looking for book club material!
Sep 18, 2010 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really great read. I felt myself on an emotional roller coaster. Having been through some similar thing in the book I felt a bit of kinship. I am glad I had the opportunity to read this book.

*received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
Clive Anderson
Jul 22, 2011 Clive Anderson rated it really liked it
I found the metaphors and similes accurate and enjoyable,
it was a disturbing read for me, but it ended in a kind of triumphant manner. I would recommend it to all facebook members as a modern day inspirational book of the human spirit overcoming adversity.
Mechele McDaniel Rose
This is a great memoir. Heartbreaking at times. I wasn't aware that many African mothers sent their children to live in foster homes in England, or that these mothers can be so cold and cruel to their children. What a sad way to live.
Sally Van Slyke
Jan 24, 2012 Sally Van Slyke rated it it was amazing
Brought me back to the 70's and memories of when I was growing up. Could relete to Precious and the emtions she had. Would recommed the book to anyone. Would like to have a follow up book to see how Precious is doing now.
May 14, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
A difficult story told with an expert touch. I just wish the author had been a little clearer on chronology; it took pages and pages before she even mentioned a decade, and years passed in the oddest fashion.
Bonnie Levy
Oct 07, 2010 Bonnie Levy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a wonderful win from Goodreads!
I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt like Precious was standing next to me telling me her life story. It was heartwrenching and eye opening and recommend it to all!
Mar 23, 2011 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This author has a talent for telling a story. She has been through a lot of turmoil in her young life but has been able to climb upward and shine her light on the world.
Oct 06, 2010 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't finish this book. It was boring. 80 pages in and I still didn't care about any of the characters or this women's plight. I stopped reading midway.
Aug 13, 2010 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I really liked the book. Sometimes I little hard to understand because of the British slang/dialouge but other than that very interesting.
Catherine Gill
Aug 01, 2010 Catherine Gill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an extremely well written memoir that is by turns disturbing, humorous and inspirational.
Nov 15, 2010 ScooterGirl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hard to read but important to read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 47 48 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, and (HIV) Positive
  • Never Make the Same Mistake Twice: Lessons on Love and Life Learned the Hard Way
  • The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey
  • Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir
  • Our Black Year: One Family's Quest to Buy Black in America's Racially Divided Economy
  • Daughter
  • The Legs Are the Last to Go: Aging, Acting, Marrying, and Other Things I Learned the Hard Way
  • I'm Still Standing: From Captive U.S. Soldier to Free Citizen--My Journey Home
  • Some Sing, Some Cry
  • We've Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication
  • Jump
  • Ugly Ways
  • An Angry-Ass Black Woman
  • What Doesn't Kill You
  • On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker
  • Daughters of the Dust: The Making of an African American Woman's Film
  • What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America
  • Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns: Stories
Contact Precious at

PRECIOUS WILLIAMS' first book, 'Precious, A True Story', published by Bloomsbury in August 2010, is a memoir about growing up in trans-racial private foster care. (A US edition, titled 'Color Blind', is published by Bloomsbury USA). Precious's story has been featured on Sky News and BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour and in the Daily Telegraph, the
More about Precious Williams...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“The dead in Nigeria are always waking up. When somebody dies there, they only seem to die for a little while,” 0 likes
More quotes…