The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett Book Review
Special thanks to Riverhead Books for providing our copy of The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett in exchange for an honest & fair review.
Years ago, I listened to The Mothers by Brit Bennett. It is a strong novel about women, relationships, motherless daughters & Brit’s writing is so beautiful.
I’ve (not so patiently) been awaiting her newest release. Over the weekend, I devoured it.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett is a Story About Sisters & so Much More
At the heart, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett is a story about sisters, family, race & blood ties that we may never escape. Readers meet twin sisters growing up in Louisiana. I love seeing places I know in stories. Growing up, I spent many summers of my life in South Louisiana. Also, I love a story about sisters.
Well, the Vignes sisters are growing up in a town that favors & values light-skinned people. One day, they’re gone. As the years pass by, one sister lives her life passing as a white woman. The other sister returns home with her dark-skinned child in tow. We know that their lives will eventually interact again, but in what ways? This aspect of the story is what really keeps me turning the pages. It reads like a suspense novel in a way because I really want to see how the story ends.
Much like The Mothers, the characters of The Vanishing Half are what I will remember for a long time. Bennett writes characters in a way that we truly get to know them by their actions. It isn’t just some blabbering paragraph that lays it all out. Slowly & with purpose, we are let into their lives to see who they truly are. Bennett’s writing style is so unique & I will be thinking of these characters for a long time to come.
There are pieces of this narrative that are reminiscent of one of my favorite feminist authors, Kate Chopin. The setting in Louisiana, commentary & stories surrounding race & the voices of women. Just swoon.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett is easily 5 stars. The writing is excellent & you’ll love how Bennett weaves her narrative together. This is truly a great book! The Vanishing Half is at the top of my Summer Reading List for 2020!
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Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett graduated from Stanford University and later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers. Her work is featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel.