The Vanishing Half

The Vanishing Half

Book - 2020
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"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. Ten 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"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2020
ISBN: 9780525536291
Characteristics: 343 pages ; 24 cm
Call Number: BENNETT, B


From Library Staff

Twin sisters, inseparable as children, ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

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debwalker Oct 27, 2020

When your identical twin sister decides to "pass".....

Sep 30, 2020

Great character development, and I loved hearing from both sisters' perspectives as well as their daughters- it really added another layer to the story. This would be great for a book club!

Sep 17, 2020

I read The Mothers and really liked it and loved The Vanishing Half. This book is the perfect book club read. As a member of an African American book club the ladies in the group found so many themes and elements in the book that we were able to relate to. Discussion of colorism within the AA community, marrying for a more comfortable life or for love and estranged family relationships. The discussion went on and on and on. We even had teams, Team Stella and Team Desiree. What road would you choose? Brit Bennett is a local author who can create characters that jump off the pages and situations that keep the pages turning. If you can't find a copy of the book try it on audio, it's storytelling at its finest!

STPL_Kerry Sep 14, 2020

I loved 'The Mothers' and this new book by Brit Bennett definitely did not disappoint. Bennett has such a talent for story telling and creating characters that you really get invested in. Two sisters; two parallel lives that turn out so differently based on which fork in the road they take. Such a beautiful story about family and love and fate and creating your destiny. A must read.

Sep 12, 2020

A town of colored folks who are all light enough to pass. Two twin sisters run away. One decides to take on a white identity and the other embraces her ancestry and falls in love with the darkest man she can find. The twins do not see or know where the other is for over 20 years but their daughters meet, one raised white with no knowledge of her mother’s past and the other in love with a transgender.
This whole scenario is the backdrop for a commentary on identity. Where does it come from? Can we make our own? Can we drown our past? A thought provoking story which stays with you

Sep 11, 2020

Beautifully written novel by the author of The Mothers, about twin sisters, one of whom decides to pass as white, and that decision's affect on three generations of family: their mother, the twins themselves, and their daughters. Brit Bennett takes us deep inside the heads of her characters, and it's both an enlightening and deeply moving story. Highly recommended.

Sep 03, 2020

Blk Twins, one tries to live a different life.

Chapel_Hill_KrystalB Sep 01, 2020

I still haven't read The Mothers, but surely will now. This book, her sophomore effort, was fantastic. I'm a character reader, and it does not disappoint in that area... or any area really. What works incredibly well here is the unfolding (un-spooling, more like) of each character, across decades, and their connections to one another. And the exploration of race, reckonings and all, feels true to each- as gross and frustrating as it can be. In other words, there is no easy or convenient conclusion at any point; no simplistic or insincere bows wrapping up anything here. Solid from start to finish.

Aug 12, 2020

A rather creative idea, Bennett creates the town of Mallard where the acceptable residents are Blacks of a light color where twins Stella and Desiree eventually separate and live their own lives. Desiree marries a dark skinned man and Stella steps into the white world where she shifts her identity and hides as a white women. It's an interesting way to present a world seen through a black women's facade of living white. The story unfolds each of their journeys and tie to family.

Aug 10, 2020

recommended by Margot

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