The Vanishing Half - Brit Bennett

The Vanishing Half

By Brit Bennett

  • Release Date: 2020-06-02
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4
From 4,987 Ratings





“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.


  • Disappointed

    By Jwil'smom
    The first half of the book was enthralling. Strong character and plot development but by the second half I was forcing myself to read this book. I no longer cared about the characters because “the secret” seemed to have little direct bearing on their life choices and the author never supplied evidence to make me wonder whether it did. The ending was not one at all; as another commentator said it just “stopped.”
  • One Possible Hitch

    By 44Sherlock44
    My husband is black and we were married in Los Angeles, California in the 1980’s. His birth certificate (issued in New York) and required to be produced for our marriage license, clearly states in the Color/Race section that he is negro and that both parents were negro. This may not have been, or be standard to birth certificates or a requirement for a marriage license in all states but it does add a possible hitch to certain aspects of the story.
  • Good not grear

    By Whitneyaggie
    Abrupt ending. I don’t feel like any of the storylines were wrapped up. The book just kind of stopped.
  • I don’t understand

    By SydneyAaliyah
    Interesting book. Fascinating story and interesting characters. I learned some things I didn’t know about the south, but as good as it was, the way the story was written was confusing and jumped around too much to really feel anything for any of the characters. I understand why I was so popular, but near the middle I wasn’t so interested in the story I just had to find out how it ended.
  • Disappointing

    By mganthony
    The opening was intriguing and captivating. It sizzled then fizzled. Almost as if the author was rushing at the end tie up all the lose strings. The story in the middle was drawn out and did not have the same intrigue as the opening scene. I had great expectations and was initially excited but it didn’t last I think because of the storyline.
  • The Vanishing Half

    By Jobynia
    This book makes you ponder your family’s secrets and their impact upon you. The author pulls the reader in this story about love and loss and emphasizes that only those you love have the capability to hurt you. It is beautifully written; worthy of a great film.
  • Good story. Well written

    By lkthompson2
    I enjoyed this book a lot. It has an interesting story line that held my attention and left me wanting more. I was disappointed by the ending but Its had great character development. I plan to read more from this author. I travel a lot and this book was perfect because it held my attention and helped pass the time on a plane and in airports because I wanted to find out what happens! I would recommend this book as it touches on so many current topics ~ race, family, gender, class. It has it all.
  • Sisters

    By honsuesho
    Story of two sisters who took very different paths
  • Just ok

    By gjass
    Not great character development
  • Ok read

    By Rbieb20
    This book had a beautiful sentiment, however, the store dragged on until the book was nearly over. I usually finish books in 2-3 days and this took me a month to get through.