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The Vanishing Half

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  50 ratings  ·  16 reviews
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,
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: June 2nd 2020 by Riverhead Books
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Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was not a fan of The Mothers so I was a little hesitant about picking up The Vanishing Half, but y'all? Y'ALL! It is everything. E-v-e-r-y-THING! Well developed characters, well thought out story lines, unpredictable. There's nothing I didn't love about this book. Brit Bennett knocked it out of the ballpark with this one. And a movie? Please, please, please let Oprah, Ava DuVernay, somebody option this because yes!
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED THIS BOOK. It's December 18, 2019 but I guarantee it will make it to my top 5 list for next year. This book gave me a sense of dread, because there were so many characters who could have terrible things happen to them, and yet I read it with hope. And while Bennett breaks your heart and doesn't shy away from the sadness inherent in every one of these character's lives, she left me feeling better for having met all of them. Each character's story unfolds so delicately and yet so deftly, ...more
Not being able to see the cover of this book (only a placeholder was on Edelweiss at the time), that left only the title itself to make me want to find out what the book was about. The word 'vanishing' probably would have been enough, but for the title to be The Vanishing Half? I definitely wanted to discover what this book was about.

The Vignes sisters, Desiree and Stella, are identical twins who grew up in a small black community in Louisiana in the 1950s. Founded by their ancestor in the
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How does Brit Bennett write such beautiful books? Just like with The Mothers, I found myself repeating sentences or passages of The Vanishing Half over and over. I’ll read everything she ever writes, this book sealed it.
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow!! This. Book.

So I was lucky enough to get early access to this novel through NetGalley (thanks, Penguin/Riverhead!), and it was one of those books you simply don’t want to put down. I wished I could have stayed home from work and read all day as I was reading this book because I could not find out soon enough what was going to happen to these characters next!

The plot centers around the twins, Stella and Desiree, and their daughters, Kennedy and Jude. The lives of these four women, as well
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: already-read
Once in a while a book comes along at just the right moment and I pretty much drop everything else just to live in its pages. I connected so deeply to the soul of THE VANISHING HALF and if you enjoy my book suggestions I'm telling you do NOT miss this beauty. Brit Bennett has written a story about hiding in plain site, who we are meant to be, who we become, the stacking of lies, and acts of love. I could not have enjoyed this book more. I dare say it's the perfect read.
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I will definitely be reading more Brit Bennett. Her writing is beautiful, her characters complex. The book spans four decades and is told from the perspectives of two twin women and their daughters. They all took very different paths but still experienced love, loss, and heartbreak. The book beautifully presents and deals with race, gender, and self-identity.
Laura Hill
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Penguin Group and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on June 2nd, 2020.
Plot: 4/5 Characters: 5/5 Writing: 4.5/5

Brit Bennett’s second novel is just as good, if not better than, her first (which I already loved).

Identical twin sisters grow up in the 1950s in Mallard: a small Southern town that doesn’t even make it onto a map. Mallard is “colorstruck” — a town inhabited by colored people, all obsessed with
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Since I have not read Brit Bennett's first novel, I wasn't sure what to expect from The Vanishing Half, but I was intrigued by the plot. I have read a few other books about "passing," and I am fascinated that a person's identity can be that ambiguous.

This is the story of Stella and Desiree Vignes, African American twins, who leave home as teenagers, with one of them going off on her own to live her life as a white person. The consequences of that choice reverberate throughout her life, her
Laura Dvorak
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I can already tell this is going to be one of the best books I'll read in 2020.

I loved THE MOTHERS, Bennett's debut novel, and was excited that her second book was coming out this year. Just as in her debut, this novel explores race, family, and the complicated relationship between community and self. Twin sisters Stella and Desiree, eager to leave their small Louisiana town, start over in New Orleans; however, within a few years the sisters separate to begin distinct lives, never expecting how
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-arcs
Thank you to the publisher, via Edelweiss, for providing me with a copy for review. This has in no way influenced my opinion.
This book is a multi-generational story of the Vignes twins and their daughters - the differences each woman faces with respect to privilege and racism and the choices they make within that.
I loved this story and its layout. My perennial complaint in books with multiple perspectives is who am I reading from/what year is it - but The Vanishing Half clearly signposts: each
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
4.5 stars but it may be bumped to 5.

This book. If there was any doubt that Brit Bennett is a talent to watch, The Vanishing Half will dispel that. This book has so many complexities and layers about sisterhood, parenthood and ever lasting trauma. Told from multiple perspectives spanning over 40 years, these women will stay with you. Starting with the viewpoints of twin sisters, one who voluntarily disappears as she passes for white, and the other who goes back to the small town and shifting to
Shoshana G
Jan 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I thought this was well-written and full of vibrant characterization, but I'm not sure it will stay with me. I guess I wanted more to HAPPEN. This book is a compelling account of two divergent sisters. I found the Desiree and Jude parts most effective - Jude's story in particular really interested and moved me. (view spoiler) ...more
Julia Kardon
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is so fucking good. Exploring the construct of race, gender, and the complicated history of self-determined identity, THE VANISHING HALF is both a fascinating story about two generations of a family and also a large scale rumination on society. The Vignes twins, their daughters, and the others who they encounter in this novel are unforgettable characters. Brit's writing is precise, devastating, and explosive and I can't wait for the rest of the world to get the chance to read it.
Read Cute (◕ ˬ ◕✿)
I have to wait until JUNE?!?!?

Ugh. Fine.
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
**Review to come**
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Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett graduated from Stanford University and later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers. Her work is featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel.

The Mothers is her first