The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

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Good Reads Description:

From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white. 

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise. 

Helen says: 🤓🤓🤓🤓 1/2

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Unless you have been living under a rock (no offense rock dwellers), you have probably heard about it. It has been nominated for the National Book Award! This book is hard to review without revealing any spoilers. While reading this book, I felt every emotion – joy, fear, disgust and anger, but sadness really reigned supreme for me. There were many shocking surprises and the ending was not what I expected at all. I read this book in one day. I couldn’t put it down!

Holly says: 🤓🤓🤓🤓1/2

My favorite read of this edition of our blog. A very original and creative story. Bias and prejudice can be found not only between races, but within races. I found this story fascinating with complex characters who will surprise you and stay with you after you close the cover. Although this book focuses on race, and biases that are expressed and perceived, there is so much more involved – family relationships, self-identification, social commentary – sometimes a little too much, but it all works. I was hooked on page 1, and I read with rapt attention until the end – 48 hours later. I couldn’t put it down, and I highly recommend it!

Click here to purchase this book.

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