21 Mar 2022


Book Review / The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett


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 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.

Published:     2nd June 2020
Publisher:  Riverhead Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Bought




I have to be honest and say that I bought this book purely because of the cover!  I knew nothing about the book or the author, having not read her other book.  I just knew that I had to buy it.  Yes I know it is probably best to know a bit about the book before you buy it or want to read it but, for me, that takes the fun out of it a little bit.  There's nothing better than picking up a book that you know nothing about and end up really enjoying the journey the author takes you on.

What I enjoyed the most about this story is that it shows that no two people are the same or have the same dreams.  Here you have twins who, clearly, have very different interests.  Life has also thrown some curve balls at them and has taken them down paths they really were not expecting.  I found it fascinating following both Stella and Desiree as they navigate their paths.  

For me, this was a slow paced read but with this type of story it fit perfectly.  I could sit back, relax and enjoy the journey.

Would highly recommend.