The Vanishing Half

The Vanishing Half

A Novel

Downloadable Audiobook - 2020
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Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by O, the Oprah Magazine, The Washington Post, Harper's Bazaar, Buzzfeed, Vogue, PureWow, New York Magazine and more"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 page-turner."--O, The Oprah Magazine"Sure to be one of 2020s best and boldest." -Elle. 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.
Publisher: [New York] :, Penguin Audio,, 2020
Edition: Unabridged
Description: 1 online resource (1 sound file (11 hr., 39 min., 09 sec.))
ISBN: 9780525637141

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Mar 29, 2021

First of all I want to state that this book is compelling reading and the characters are well developed. As timely topics, the novel's two main themes deal with hatred of "others" - those who do not have the same skin color or gender identity. We begin with twin sisters so light in skin tone that they can "pass" as white. One chooses to do so. My first reaction was to condemn her but this book begins in the 1950's and 1960's where the girls' father is murdered because he was Black. Sadly, though the situation in the United States is hopefully better, we have just lived thru 4 years of misogyny, racism, & xenophobia. Today in my home of Minneapolis, the trial of Derek Chauvin has just begun. I cannot, and feel no one, should judge Stella for her choice. In addition to the racism we have the bias against transgender individuals as Jude, Desiree's daughter, falls in love with Reese who is attempting to save for surgery. In the 1980's this was most often kept a secret as this couple chooses to do. Secrets and lies in families seldom lead to good outcomes. Marriage for both women is unhappy - Stella lives in almost constant fear that her secret will be discovered and Desiree has to flee a violent man. I found Jude to be my favorite character and to have fared the best in the book's world. She strives to make a better life for herself as a "blue-black" woman of color and chooses to love regardless of gender identity. The ultimate message for me was one of hope. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Jan 10, 2021


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