Review: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (A MUST READ!)

This is just a great book. It just is….😍

I typically don’t like books that deal with colorism and all these other deep seated issues of African American society because in my mind we see enough of this on the news and hear enough about it on the radio. I don’t need to read about it in a book! 😒 So, after reading the first chapter of the Vanishing Half, I was like hmmmmmph ugh (I don’t know if I am feeling this book) but I decided to plod through and keep an open mind as there are so many glowing reviews about this book. I am so happy that I stuck with it, this book was awesome, a truly well written and engrossing novel! No wonder it was named by the New York Times as one of the top ten books of 2020 and debuted at #1 on the fiction list😊

Yes, the recurring theme of this book deals with the issue of the colorism in African American society but the story is so much more than that. There is mystery and suspense and the story will have you always wanting to know what happens next. It is actually impossible to read just one chapter of this book and put it down! 🤭 (Trust me) The Vanishing Half is a must read for 2021 … and my rating is rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for sure, it is one of my new favorites along side Educated by Tara Westover.

But sometimes lying is an act of love. Stella had spent so long lying to tell the truth now, or maybe, there was nothing left to reveal. Maybe this was who she had become.

The Vanishing Half

The Vanishing Half is a fictional novel telling the story of two identical twin sisters, Stella and Desiree Vignes from a small town in America called Mallard, Louisiana. This town is unique because it is home to many fair skinned colored people, so fair that they could almost pass for white 👩🏼‍🦰 🧑🏼 The book begins with the teenage girls leaving their home in the small town in search of a new life. Several years later, Desiree returns with her daughter, Jude, to the small town she once called home but her sister, Stella has created a new life as a white woman and will like to forget her ‘colored’ heritage. However, what is done in darkness must always comes to light and even though it took several years, eventually Stella’s life begins to crumble and her many lies begin to catch up with her 😳

Her mother will never forget Stella. She would stare into the mirror for the rest of her life, reminded of her loss.

The Vanishing Half

The book is written from several points of views, the twin sister Desiree, the other twin Stella, Jude (Desiree’s daughter) and Kennedy (Stella’s daughter) and although the story switches timelines and also points of views, it is adds to the impact of the plot rather than confuses the reader. It is interesting to see how Stella really felt living her new white life and how hard it was for her to keep it all together and how scared she felt that her world would one day crash down. On the flipside, Desiree continued living as a colored person and it was fascinating to see how this affected how her life turned out. We also got to see how the decisions made by Stella and Desiree affected their kids, Kennedy and Jude. There is a William Shakespeare quote in the Merchant of Venice that states “The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children.” This book clearly showed how the various decisions made by the twins affected their children in the years to come 🙏

She’d imagined more than once, telling her daughter the truth, about Mallard, and Desiree, and New Orleans. How she’d pretended to be someone else because she needed a job, and after a while, pretending became reality. She could tell the truth, she thought, but there was no single truth anymore. She’d lived a life split between two women – each real, each a lie.

The Vanishing Half

This is Brit Bennett’s second novel and I am pleased that I took the time to read it. I am looking forward to more great books from her. Her first novel was entitled The Mothers and was published in 2016 and was a New York Times Best Seller also. Have you read The Vanishing Half? What did you think of this book? 😎

Much Love


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