The Vanishing Half By Brit Bennett Ebook Download
About The Vanishing Half
#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
“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.
Page turner from beginning. Fast read.
Whiteness pervades this story of 2 separated sisters who choose different paths. The social implications are not touched, only hinted, and are left to the reader to contemplate. A very personal story.
One of the most intriguing books I have ever read.
I did wish that the search for Stella would have ended earlier, needed to move on. Once it did I loved how the twins lives were so dramatically different. Poverty over white privilege.
This is a slow, meandering read. It was a book club selection of mine. If not, I would have put it down after a hundred or so pages. What I liked? It is an interesting proposition, light skinned twin girls who abandon their family and home town seeking a better life. Then Stella, one of the twins abandons her sister Desiree, as if into thin air, to marry and “pass” as white. Secrets compound upon secrets in this novel, but in a burdensome way, not in a way that drives the narrative or maintains interest. The writing style neither inspires nor delights. The story of Reese and Jude? It seems contrived and strained. And we are to believe that Stella remained an emotional and historical blank to her husband their entire marriage? Marriage is about emotional intimacy and sharing.
About 3 decades of life between 4 women. I love how the author displayed the story line.
I enjoyed the book on several levels! The story was captivating; I learned something about another culture; and I was fascinated by the author’s ability to create echoes of the same theme, throughout the book. It seemed that every character had a “vanishing half.” Unlike some of the other reviewers, I felt the ending was perfect. I especially liked the last line, which somehow completed/satisfied something in me. Beautifully structured!
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.”
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.
Abrupt ending. I don’t feel like any of the storylines were wrapped up. The book just kind of stopped.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Story of two sisters who took very different paths
Not great character development
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.
Pretty good book, didn’t have anything specifically amazing
The storyline was good but there were some flaws. I couldn’t really connect with Reese’s character because his only identity was that he was transgender. I was hoping that Stella would reveal her secret to Loretta. The reunion of the twins was way too short. The ending left me very disappointed.
Great read! The story kept me locked in that I read it in two days.
I enjoyed the characters but the book could have used a plot twist or some sort of climax.
The buildup takes too long, and I feel like some of the characters were just thrown in there without real development. The description of Jude and Kennedy gets repetitive. Also, I want to add that the end was disappointing.
I can instantly recognize books about racism and white supremacy that are intended for white audiences, and this is one of them. That might be why the book feels so hollow and ungrounded almost. I really enjoyed the writing style, but this story, though treated with care, truly lacked the depth that would keep me thinking about it after turning the last page.
From start to finish, this novel is spellbinding. How the story blurs through time and the different narrative perspectives... A must-read.
A story about the construct of race in America and just how destructive it is for everyone, twin sisters identical until one passes for white and becomes a different person, living a lie that drives her daughter away. The other, defeated by a bad marriage, goes home, subjecting her daughter to racial torment, Good characters woven into a story a little too full of the lucky versus the marginalized, and worked out so their reversed fortunes fall neatly into place, a better than average airplane book.
Incredible, poignant and well-written.
A beautiful book that brings you into the heart of a family, and the heart of the US. Touching, tragic, sweet and melancholy; I’m sure I’ll be rereading it many times.
Brit Bennett has embedded a complex story about identity and all of its complexities, within what could easily be a great film or television drama. Challenging issues such as gender identity, race classification, individual aspirations, and the power of privilege; are spread across the same canvass like a Jackson Pollack painting. An entropy resembling organized chaos. This time shifting and multiple perspective style of narrative, adds a layered richness to the story. The reader is shown multiple identities and journeys. The approach inherently challenges the reader to question each character more intensely. The confusion around what really defines identity is amplified by all of the disparate voices and their interconnected experiences. The themes of repressed trauma and pride lurk everywhere. Every other page, you’re desperately hoping someone says something. Brit Bennett doesn’t make it easy, even when some events seem otherwise predictable. I see why this book shot to the top of so many 2020 must read lists. I can’t wait to see what she delivers next.
This story takes you through the experience of so many lives, it’s touching, it’s beautiful, it pulls on all the heartstrings. The ending however is anti-climactic and random compared to the entire story. Nonetheless, I fully understand why it was on every single best book list in 2020.
A story full of love and loss
I was reasonably engaged by the story and really appreciated some of its very nuanced insights about racism. Unfortunately, the author took on one too many issues in introducing through Reese the complexities of transsexualism/transgenderism and leaves this important character undeveloped — quite two-dimensional. The result is an ending that lacks impact.
The three stars is because it was well written but not the type of book that grabs me. I didn’t even finish . .. found it all too boring.
There were a couple of times where the story got slow, but it was nice getting know all of the characters lives (eventful or not). I’m also unsure how I feel about the abrupt ending. I do know that I really loved this book though. I was constantly thinking of my own family while reading this book. My grandmother and her siblings were not allowed to attend public schools because they were Native American. My grandmother was lighter than her sister, and it got me thinking...was life easier because of my grandmother because of that? I truly enjoyed this well-written story.
A few twists and turns. Interesting read
Could not put it down
This was a good book. I liked learning about the different characters through different time periods and perspectives. However at times I felt like the characters were rambling a bit. The ending has left me lost. Overall, it’s worth the time to read and explore a story of twins that choose to live separate lives.
Great dive into the character aspects of the story line, however, I was left with too many unanswered questions and not enough closure.
Gripping, touching, and wonderfully written. Fascinating storyline as the 3rd person narrative flows among different characters; reading the story from several different viewpoints kept it very interesting. I couldn’t put it down!
Great book. Loved the story line. Ending was not as exciting as the whole book.
Wow. That was slowwww with no clear story arc and a very anti climatic ending that left all questions open. I couldn’t believe it was the end of book - I kept thinking my phone was glitching. Would not recommend.
I’ve never read anything like this. The story line pulled me, the characters diverse and captivating! A story of heartbreak, tough decisions and family love.
What a unique and intriguing storyline! I loved the characters and the writing was phenomenal. Can’t wait to read more books by this author!
Couldn’t put it down.
You Guys, this book is so good, I could read it over and over. Can’t wait to see this book interpreted on a big screen.
Beautifully written and captures the readers attention and heartstrings. Deeply shows the emotional scars of racism and transgender issues. Highly recommended although I was hoping for more closure.
If tis story was interesting to you, please also read Passing, by Nella Larsen.
Wonderful character development. This book is a page turner. Usually I prefer a bit of a slower journey. But the story evolves over a lifetime. 3 generations. The author weaved a lovely heart breaking story. A story about America. I loved it. There are a million more stories to be told...
All the characters had a part of them they wished would vanish. Highly recommend this book and I can’t wait for the discussions with my book club.
A true page turner.