Author: Brit Bennett
Published: June 2, 2020
Goodreads Rating: 4.37/5
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Synopsis from Goodreads:
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?
This was such an amazing coming of age story spanning multiple generations. I loved all the different points of views and going back and forth in time. The plot was very character driven, and the characters were all unique and interconnected. Bennett did such a great job portraying how one person’s decisions can cause a ripple effect into the lives of those around them. It was so interesting to learn about “passing,” a term I was not familiar with before this.
My own great grandma was “so black she was blue” just like they described Jude in this book, then she went on to marry the whitest man she could find, and their kids did the same after that. Which explains why I’m so pale. No I’m not from Mallard, I am from Cuba. I still have what I call my “black nose” and thick curly hair that gets out of control if I don’t do what I can to tame it. But I know exactly where these features come from, even if I never got to meet her. I can’t imagine living my whole life not knowing my heritage like Kennedy did in the story.
If there is anything I learned from this book is that you have to know where you come from in order to see where you’re going. The Vanishing Half is definitely worth a read, especially during current times. I would recommend it to all Historical and Contemporary Fiction fans. I haven’t read The Mothers by Bennett yet, but I enjoyed her poetic writing style so much that I definitely will soon!