The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP BESTSELLER
"...an ambitious meditation on race and identity...Bennett balances the literary demands of dynamic characterization with the historical and social realities of her subject matter...there is such depth, possibility and dramatic propulsion...a brave foray into vast and difficult terrain...The novel raises thorny questions about the cost of blackness. The answers are complicated - New York Times
"Stunning...Few novels manage to remain interesting from start to finish, even - maybe especially - the brilliant ones. But...Bennett locks readers in and never lets them go." - Los Angeles Times"Deeply compelling...brilliantly creates a network of characters - singular and vivid...There are moments...that stun with quiet power." USA Today
"As thought-provoking as it is engrossing." - Oprah magazine
"...an utterly mesmerising novel. It seduces with its literary flair, surprises with its breath-taking plot twists, delights with its psychological insights, and challenges us to consider the corrupting consequences of racism on different communities and individual lives. I absolutely loved this book." - Bernardine Evaristo, Winner of the Booker Prize
From the back of the book:
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.
My Review (to come): x/5 stars