The Vanishing Half – Brit Bennett


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’ story lines 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 wanted to absolutely love this book but I felt a little disappointed and that it could have been so much more!

I felt it only scratched the surface and skirted round the important issues it touches on. There was so much more depth that could have been explored (and could even have been longer to do so!).

The topics it broached (don’t want to spoil anything) were thought provoking and caused me to really think about how I felt throughout.

Those who know my reading habits by now won’t be surprised that I did particularly enjoy how it all tied up towards the end.

This book is engaging readers on important thought provoking topics and the hype surrounding it helps to promote this.

I also enjoyed the writing style and believable dialogues. Just wanted more grit and emotion!!

Overall I gave it a 3/5!

Have you read it? What did you think?

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