The Vanishing Half

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett Book Summary



“Bennett’s tone and style recalls James Baldwin and Jacqueline Woodson, but it’s especially reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s 1970 debut novel, The Bluest Eye.” —Kiley Reid, Wall Street Journal 

A story of absolute, universal timelessness …For any era, it's an accomplished, affecting novel. For this moment, it's piercing, subtly wending its way toward questions about who we are and who we want to be….” – Entertainment Weekly

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, 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 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.

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The Vanishing Half (Brit Bennett) Book Reviews

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- Where is the rest.4 star

Great book, but it leaves you wanting more and looking for and end to the story.. where is the rest of the story? What happened to Stella? I’m confused!! Just wanted a better ending.

- Spell-binding5 star

This book is beautiful, suspenseful, and a thrill to read.

- Great book but very strange ending5 star

The book was amazing all the way through until I came to the final few pages. The ending was completely strange and disappointing.

- One of the best books I’ve ever read5 star

The characters are each so complex and real. The story is perfectly paced and draws you in. Amazing.

- A solid 3 Stars3 star

It did take me a while to get through. I wish it would've stayed more on the storyline of Desiree and Stella. Even though Stella passed for white her whole life, I was hoping that Stella would ease up a little on the lies that she's been holding on to her whole life and let her daughter in just a little bit. Desiree was a total Southern woman of going back home after leaving an absuive marriage. It's interesting how both Desiree and Stella both only had 1 kid. Stella probably only had one because she was worried that her second baby may come out brown. Desiree probably didn't have more than 1 kid because she knew the struggles of just having 1. I don't know if I liked any characters or if it felt like a fly on the wall while reading the book. Stella was uber selfish during the whole thing-yes she eventually got her career but she made massive pitfalls when it came not telling her daughter the truth. It really didn't feel like an ending to me and not saying that every book has to have a nice little bow because that's how life is sometimes but it seems like the only people that ended up happy were Jude, Reece, Desiree, and Early. Stella was somewhat miserable and so was her daughter.

- The Vanishing Half2 star


- Resilience Takes Many Forms!5 star

The author takes us into the very fabric and pace of women’s lives. Mothers, who are twins, and their daughters struggling with identity, family history, and being black in the U.S. Honesty and love are woven into their story like a strong vine that cannot be overcome. This story is told in a delicate and beautiful style; treating each woman, and her struggle with respect. I really enjoyed this book!

- Excellently written5 star

Everything about this book was sublime. The characters, the plot, the beauty of the story telling. The author treats every single situation like a voyeur and not an invested party which allows the reader to make their own assessments of situations.

- Terrible1 star

Was not a good book at all. I didn’t like the storyline, it was unrealistic and boring in my opinion.

- Excellent5 star

I couldn’t put it down. I felt sympathy for all the character. The writing flowed and kept you hooked.

- Great read!5 star

I enjoyed this book! I felt like it was an interesting take on colorism not only within the black community, but in the world in general. The only con I would give is that I felt like the ending was a bit rushed when it came to reaching each of the climaxes with each character—there was some resolution, but I still didn’t feel complete closure. I recommend it!

- Simple and lovely5 star

A gentle and well-paced story of passing, colorism and duality. A necessary and beautiful examination of Blackness in the New World and the ways people survived the lived experience of race and racism. Heartbreak vibrates through the pages like the notes of a song that you can’t quite hear but still stirs your emotions. Love.

- Amazing5 star

Amazing story of what it means to be black in America, being true to what you are, and colorism -towards darker and lighter skinned blacks. Are you what you are by how you were raised or by how others perceive you? You can run from others but you can never run from yourself. Simply amazing. Expertly written. My new favorite author!

- Excellent5 star

Lives up to the hype

- Heartbreakingly amazing5 star

Buy this book, holy sh**. I’ll remember characters for a looong time. Stella was my favorite; the strange struggles between personhood and family, and how Bennett explored it with elegant subtlety that made her so real. The nuanced understanding of race and colorism the story provided was equally brilliant. It’s unsettling, but still so fulfilling. You will not be disappointed!

- Interesting book4 star

The book started out strong, but got kind of boring towards the end

- The Vanishing Half5 star

I am a twin and although I didn’t grow up under the same circumstances, I could understand why Stella did what she did.

- Good be better3 star

I liked the storyline, but ending was strange. Very disappointing. Situation between Jude and Reese was confusing

- Great read, abrupt ending5 star

Great read but strange abrupt ending

- The vanishing Half3 star

The book was interesting but the ending was disappointing

- Loved the book4 star

Two twins living in a small town where only light black people were allowed to live. Run away together at 16. One abandoned the other and she pretends to be white her whole life until their daughters meet one another and the whole secret comes crashing down

- Finished in one day!4 star

Such a great story on identity, love, loss, and the bonds of different types of female relationships. Definitely a must read!

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2020’s been rough. At this rate I’m half expecting the year to end with all the good Christians vanishing into thin…

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The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. You're welcome btw:)

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#TuesdayBookBlog THE VANISHING HALF by Brit Bennett (@britrbennett) (@LittleBrownUK) Great story, memorable charact…

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When Desiree, the impulsive one, suggests they run off together, she’s surprised when Stella, the practical one, ag…

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4 of 5 stars to The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

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@NickClairmont1 @benshapiro How can somebody LIE about the way they look? Like in this ridiculous novel The Vanishi…

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Marked as to-read: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

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Not me crying after finishing The Vanishing Half 🤭 tears? In this economy? I may have found a new favorite book.

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1. Such a Fun Age by Kylie Reid 4/5 stars 2. And of course I REREAD All About Love by bell hooks Currently readin…

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@MrsBBookReviews: POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020 #32: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett Thanks to @HBooksread for my copy! …

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agreed. Some people didn’t read the vanishing half by Brit Bennett and it shows.

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@jasminecrowe I just read The Vanishing Half. I read it in three days. About twins who are black and one 'passes o…

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@mirand4v @jasminecrowe Ohhh The Vanishing Half is on my bookshelf. I’m reading it as soon as I finish the Book of Longings!

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@OliviaDeich Great. That helps me focus. I recently finished The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett and loved it (I als…

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I just finish reading the vanishing half.. that ending fell sooo flat. I wanna square up with the author lol

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