Cover Image: The Vanishing Half

The Vanishing Half

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Member Reviews

This book is so timely. It's about racial identity, choices and circumstances. I love Brit Bennett's writing. The characters are complex and I wasn't able to put this book down.
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I was eagerly awaiting this novel after The Mothers. This is one of the best books of the year. It is a breathtaking achievement of writing. I would highly recommend for readers who love well-drawn characters and immersive fiction.
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Awestruck by everything about this book... The lyrical writing, the memorable and fully-realized characters, and the skill with which the author weaves their stories and links them together over generations. I'm humbled to have been able to read this and will share widely with library readers - especially for fellow readers of Jesmyn Ward and Celeste Ng, I think. A stunningly-written and very timely story from Brit Bennett - I'll be going back to read her other novel, The Mothers. Many thanks to the publisher for this copy!
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How easy it was to slip into a different life than the one destined  for her. That was Stella. How hard it was to return to the life she had run away from. That was Desiree. The story of identical twins, light skin Black women who lived very different lives from young adulthood onwards. The one with the  “easy life“, always looking over her shoulder while hiding in plain sight. The one with the harder life, lived authentically. Well written but tragic book.
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The Vanishing Half is so many things it's hard to come up with the appropriate words to describe this novel. I was riveted throughout and at times wanted to chuck the book across the room. Ultimately, I very much enjoyed this tale and am looking forward to reading more of Bennett's works.
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'The Vanishing Half' is beautifully written, heartbreaking and very readable. It follows the story of the twin Vignes sisters who grow up in a small, southern black community. 

Desiree yearns to break free from the dull life of Mallard and convinces quieter, more obedient Stella to run away with her. However, it is Stella who sees the possibility of "passing" as white, and leaves her sister and her old life behind. Desiree ends up back in Mallard as a young adult, fleeing an abusive husband with her young daughter in tow. 

Alternating between the perspectives of Stella, Desiree, Desiree's daughter Jude and Stella's daughter Kennedy, we see the impacts of the twins' choices on their lives and the lives of their daughters.

'The Vanishing Half' follows Bennett's excellent debut, The Mothers, Bennett's talent as a storyteller is nothing short of stunning. I am eagerly anticipating whatever she writes next. I will be widely recommending this book.
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Did you say book discussion? This book is a must read with well developed characters, storyline and thought provoking messages. Loved it!
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Love, love, LOVE the Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.  One of my favorite books of the year.  I enjoyed the characters, found them relatable and wanted more of their stories.  Such a beautifully well told story. Highly recommend.
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I loved The Mothers and because of the hype, I think my expectations of this book were unrealistic.  It was good.  It was a character driven novel and I found it slow in parts, although I appreciated the issues that are raised:  colorism, transsexuality, issues of family and identity.  It was good and a book I am not likely to forget.
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Good summer read.  Being a twin, I found this book fascinating.   Also. the concept of "Passing" is a subject that I have read about in nonfiction but never incorporated into a fiction book.  Will  plan to read the author's first book, also, good book for book club discussions.
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Everyone in the small Louisiana town knows the Vignes twin girls. The lightest of the light-skinned residents of the town, the girls run away at the age of sixteen, and their lives diverge. One returns home with her daughter, while a continent away her sister has married well and for all intents and purposes is passing for white. Everyone who reads this one will love it. If you are unfamiliar with Brit Bennett then reading The Mothers by her is also a must.
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Twins Desiree and Stella make choices that lead them on totally different paths.  I enjoyed the book, but the ending felt too rushed.
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Each character in this lively narrative came to life, illuminating a not so distant past as well as the future in the U.S. I appreciate Bennett's candid portrayals that don't dumb events down.  I think her multilayered story of Stella and Desiree elevates the conversation about the human condition, not just race, socioeconomics, sexual identity, and educational opportunity..  I can't wait for excerpts of The Vanishing Half to begin appearing on the AP and IB English exams.  You heard it here first! She's that good!
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Twins split into two worlds as teens in 1960s America - one white, one black. The novel traces the generations a bit before and definitely after. Some elements of how Stella must navigate whiteness brought me back to Passing by Nella Larsen. I loved The Mothers by Brit Bennett and this is an excellent read with a lot to talk about.
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ALL THE STARS! This book deserves all the stars. I am certainly not the first person to read this book and love it. It is already optioned for tv or film and people are already saying that it is their favorite book of the year and rightfully so!  It takes a special book to change a reader. This book did it's job.
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The timing of this book is perfect with everything going on in this world. Brit Bennett weaves an intriguing story of twin sisters who end up on very different paths. If I were in a book club, this would definitely be one of my first picks as a group. There are so many parts of this that I would love to dive into a deep discussion about & to see others' opinions. Definitely recommended!!

**Thank you to NetGalley & the publisher for sharing this ARC in exchange my honest review.
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This book is a masterful portrayal of identity and family—the ones we are born with and the ones we create—the choices we make or don't make, and the way we internalize all of these things as a way to understand ourselves and others in concrete terms (even when we don't fit those unbending molds that have been fashioned.) I loved each of the characters, from the Vignes sisters and their daughters to Early and Reece, and the way that Bennett melds together all of their voices and the different timelines seamlessly, almost poetically. A gorgeous sophomore novel and one that I hope portends more amazing novels to come.
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Wow—Brit Bennett can write a novel. Having read (and loved) The Mother’s, one of my favorite aspects of this book was the way in which she wrote the community of Mallard was genius. The plot itself is riveting, the characters written extremely well. I could not stop thinking about Bennett’s book for weeks after reading.
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This book certainly doesn't need any help from me! I'm so glad to see it's doing well and people are responding to it so strongly. I found this book frustrating at times, but all the characters are so richly imagined and I love Bennett's occasional wall-breaking style of narration.
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What an amazing book and so timely!  The plot of this book encompasses so many themes---family relationships, systemic racism, deceit, secrets, gender and many more.  The writing is superb and this is a book that you truly can't put down.
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