#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2020 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES * THE WASHINGTON POST * NPR * PEOPLE * TIME MAGAZINE* VANITY FAIR * GLAMOUR
2021 WOMEN'S PRIZE FINALIST
“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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Brit Bennett wowed us with her debut, The Mothers, and her second novel is equally riveting. The story starts in the late 1960s, when light-skinned black twins Desiree and Stella embark on starkly contrasting paths. Desiree marries “the darkest man she could find” and gets stuck in her rural Louisiana hometown, while Stella disappears to a wealthy L.A. enclave where she passes for white. Bennett moves briskly through two decades, as the fates of the sisters and their daughters become unexpectedly intertwined. The Vanishing Half explores complex issues like racism, white privilege, and the many ways our identity is shaped by our origins. Award-winning narrator Shayna Small seamlessly hits all the suspenseful notes of Bennett’s novel, while still managing to evoke tenderness. We’re still thinking about this stunning listen.
Disappointed in the ending
This book was a excellent read up until the end. I feel like so much was left out. Hopefully there will be a continuation in another book.
Definitely the best book I’ve read in a long while
Such a great story, such layered characters. I could not stop listening!
One of THE BEST non-fiction books I’ve read in over a year. What an adventure!