book reviews

Book Review: The Vanishing Half

Book Details:

  • Published Date: June 2, 2020
  • Author: Brit Bennett
  • Narrator(s): Shayna Small
  • Genre: Historical, Fiction, Adult
  • Format: Kindle/Audiobook
  • Length: 350 pages/11h 34m
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 passingLooking 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. (Amazon)

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I may be on the unpopular opinion side, but this book was just ok. The hype that came with this book is really what made me want to read it and give it a shot. The beginning of this book was just super slow for me. It took forever to get to the better parts of the story for me.

There were a lot of great points that were brought up in this story, but I felt those points lacked the depth they needed to really get the point across. Like, I just felt like there could have been so much more when it came to the important issues in the book.

So when you read this book, you get a story about two twins. One has a darker skin complexion (Desiree) and the other has a lighter skin complexion (Stella). They both run away during their younger years and end up being separated. Stella ends up living a life where she is passing as a white person. That alone, I just felt like it didn’t really get to the meat of how this affected their families as whole.

The book isn’t written badly, but I felt like there could have been so much more to the plot and that opportunity was definitely missed.

My Rating:

3 star

Have you read The Vanishing Half? What were your thoughts?

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