Review: The Vanishing Half

51791252. sx318 sy475 The Vanishing Half
By Brit Bennett
352 pages
Published June 2, 2020
Riverhead Books
Source: My BOTM pick

About the Book:

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. Ten 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.


 I really enjoyed this book! This was my first book by Brit Bennett (I'm going to read The Mothers soon) and I loved her storytelling and writing style. I rated it 4.5 stars on Good reads--the only thing keeping this from being a five star read was that it was a bit of a slow start. However, once I got hooked, I couldn't but it down and read the majority of the book in one day!  I had to know what happened.

I loved all the characters, especially Jude. Brit Bennett expertly wove the stories of each character together, spanning decades and generations. The themes and perspectives in this book are so important. While the main focus, based on the book's description above  is race and racial identity, the book also brings to light issues of  gender identity and socioeconomic status and how it affects one's life. This book really makes you stop and think. I recommend this book for everyone--it is definitely a must read!


  1. I've seen pretty universal positive reviews for this one. I'm really looking forward to reading it!

  2. I've seen this one around a lot. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    Karen @ For What It's Worth


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