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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- Great story, random ending5 star

This story takes you through the experience of so many lives, it’s touching, it’s beautiful, it pulls on all the heartstrings. The ending however is anti-climactic and random compared to the entire story. Nonetheless, I fully understand why it was on every single best book list in 2020.

- The Vanishing Half5 star

A story full of love and loss

- Characters not fully developed3 star

I was reasonably engaged by the story and really appreciated some of its very nuanced insights about racism. Unfortunately, the author took on one too many issues in introducing through Reese the complexities of transsexualism/transgenderism and leaves this important character undeveloped — quite two-dimensional. The result is an ending that lacks impact.

- Not what I expected3 star

The three stars is because it was well written but not the type of book that grabs me. I didn’t even finish . .. found it all too boring.

- Reflection of one’s own family5 star

There were a couple of times where the story got slow, but it was nice getting know all of the characters lives (eventful or not). I’m also unsure how I feel about the abrupt ending. I do know that I really loved this book though. I was constantly thinking of my own family while reading this book. My grandmother and her siblings were not allowed to attend public schools because they were Native American. My grandmother was lighter than her sister, and it got me thinking...was life easier because of my grandmother because of that? I truly enjoyed this well-written story.

- Well written5 star

A few twists and turns. Interesting read

- Loved it5 star

Could not put it down

- Good Read3 star

This was a good book. I liked learning about the different characters through different time periods and perspectives. However at times I felt like the characters were rambling a bit. The ending has left me lost. Overall, it’s worth the time to read and explore a story of twins that choose to live separate lives.

- Interesting Characterization3 star

Great dive into the character aspects of the story line, however, I was left with too many unanswered questions and not enough closure.

- Poignant and Powerful5 star

Gripping, touching, and wonderfully written. Fascinating storyline as the 3rd person narrative flows among different characters; reading the story from several different viewpoints kept it very interesting. I couldn’t put it down!

- Great book4 star

Great book. Loved the story line. Ending was not as exciting as the whole book.

- Dragged on and anti climatic ending2 star

Wow. That was slowwww with no clear story arc and a very anti climatic ending that left all questions open. I couldn’t believe it was the end of book - I kept thinking my phone was glitching. Would not recommend.

- This book pulls you and doesn’t let go5 star

I’ve never read anything like this. The story line pulled me, the characters diverse and captivating! A story of heartbreak, tough decisions and family love.

- Wow5 star

What a unique and intriguing storyline! I loved the characters and the writing was phenomenal. Can’t wait to read more books by this author!

- Great read5 star

Couldn’t put it down.

- Slow start, don’t put it down!5 star

You Guys, this book is so good, I could read it over and over. Can’t wait to see this book interpreted on a big screen.

- Riveting4 star

Beautifully written and captures the readers attention and heartstrings. Deeply shows the emotional scars of racism and transgender issues. Highly recommended although I was hoping for more closure.

- Now try Passing4 star

If tis story was interesting to you, please also read Passing, by Nella Larsen.

- A beautiful story about America’s cultural richness and diversity.5 star

Wonderful character development. This book is a page turner. Usually I prefer a bit of a slower journey. But the story evolves over a lifetime. 3 generations. The author weaved a lovely heart breaking story. A story about America. I loved it. There are a million more stories to be told...

- Great Read5 star

All the characters had a part of them they wished would vanish. Highly recommend this book and I can’t wait for the discussions with my book club.

- Loved it5 star

A true page turner.

- Bland1 star

Good potential but poorly written. Only a small portion of the book is in the perspectives the twin. I feel like most of the book was about one of the daughters of twins and her transgendered boyfriend. Nothing is happening in this book. You think it’s heating up and it fizzles to nothing. All that for a reunion that only lasts a few pages and it isn’t that moving

- Excellent5 star

This book is excellent!

- beautiful story5 star

this will tug at your heart and will leave you wishing for another novel as deep and well written as this is.

- Enjoyable and engaging5 star

This poignant book was hard to put down.

- Vanishing Half4 star

Great story. Beautifully written. The ending didn’t bring me closure like I would have liked.

- Hard to connect2 star

I loved that this book addressed modern topics with a 1980’s spin. They’re important topics and they were refreshing to read from the point of view of black females. However, I spent the entire book trying to attach myself to the characters the way you do when you’re fully immersed in a story. There are no real main characters, so you don’t really spend a significant amount of time with any one person. The time frames are very distanced and scattered. It was just hard for me to connect to the story when it felt like I was reading from the back of an audience, as opposed to being on stage with them. You never really get that feeling of being ‘hooked’ on this novel, which is why I didn’t give it a higher rating

- Beautifully written story5 star

This book is so well written and engaging I finished it in hours% Definitely recommend

- Captivating Read. Nice book for Book Club Too.5 star

Definitely kept me wanting to read more. Looking forward to discussing this with my book club because the central characters are complex and there is so much to unravel.

- Amazing5 star

The story is dramatic but it still appeals to emotion

- Stunning5 star

Beautiful story of girls and how we grow up.

- So well written!5 star

I could hardly put this book down! It was good from beginning to end. Such an amazing storyline and the characters were so real. Hope to read more from this talented author.

- Fun and informative5 star

Well written. Not an expected ending but surprised when it ended.

- 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.

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- 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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The Vanishing Half: A Novel

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5 of 5 stars to The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

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So many books I have left to read lol. I just finished The “Vanishing Half” (9/10) and now I’m reading “American Di…

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Wow, this book. If you loved The Vanishing Half, you’ll love this. Bravo, @daniellevalore

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@siestakee The Vanishing Half was a really good read!

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@er2225 Eleanor's Travels The vanishing half

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⚡️ “[PDF] The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett”

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[PDF] The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett Twins, inseparable as children, ultimately choose to live in two very dif…

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@HGLiterary: An A+ ending to a wonderful day for the @HGLiterary team: THE VANISHING HALF by @britrbennett #1 in Fiction LITTLE LEADERS…

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@HGLiterary: An A+ ending to a wonderful day for the @HGLiterary team: THE VANISHING HALF by @britrbennett #1 in Fiction LITTLE LEADERS…

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@HGLiterary: An A+ ending to a wonderful day for the @HGLiterary team: THE VANISHING HALF by @britrbennett #1 in Fiction LITTLE LEADERS…

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@HGLiterary: An A+ ending to a wonderful day for the @HGLiterary team: THE VANISHING HALF by @britrbennett #1 in Fiction LITTLE LEADERS…

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On page 265 of 352 of The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett: Backtracking a little and fin...

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An A+ ending to a wonderful day for the @HGLiterary team: THE VANISHING HALF by @britrbennett #1 in Fiction LITTLE…

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Its even my copy of the vanishing half LORD

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