The Vanishing Half

“The hardest part about becoming someone else was deciding to. The rest was only logistics.”

THE VANISHING HALF by Brit Bennett is one of the most buzzed about bestsellers of 2020 and let me just say it lived up to the hype! Without a doubt this is one of my most entertaining, unputdownable books I’ve read in a long time! Brilliant, thought provoking, heartbreaking; THE VANISHING HALF has it all!

This multigenerational family saga takes place from the 1940s to the 1990s and centers on identical twin sisters Stella and Desiree Vignes. Though inseparable growing up, the Vignes twin’s lives sharply diverged after they ran away from their small, Southern Black community as teenagers. Estranged from each other, one twin returns home as an adult while the other secretly lives her life as a white woman. Though living completely separate and different lives, fate forces the twins and their families together. THE VANISHING HALF asks the question: what happens to those who choose to vanish and to those who are left behind?

THE VANISHING HALF examines racial identity, colorism, trauma, reinvention, and above all the concept of “passing.” Bennett mainly explores the effects of racial passing and how a black woman passing as white simultaneously overcomes the barriers of race and reinforces them. Not only is racial passing discussed but we also see how passing can occur with gender and socioeconomic class. With masterful storytelling and exceptional character development, Bennett skillfully manages time jumps, shifts in narrative perspective, and multiple complex plot threads. Though there is a reliance on coincidence, I found the story totally engrossing and an overall fantastic read!

If for some reason you have not read THE VANISHING HALF, what are you doing? Trust me, you will not regret reading this one! Plus, HBO is adapting it into a limited series… need I say more?! Without a doubt THE VANISHING HALF is a must-read book that I think every person would not only benefit from reading but highly enjoy!

  • Title: The Vanishing Half
  • Author: Brit Bennett
  • Published: June 2, 2020 (Riverhead Books)
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Booky Nooky Rating: * * * * *

One Comment Add yours

  1. celly1989 says:

    It was a great book indeed! I loved it and I agree the author’s ability to keep you engaged and not confused with the switching timelines and points of views was a true work of art. A very well written novel indeed.


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