The Vanishing Half

The Vanishing Half: a book about lost twins
Published by Sofia on 2024-02-01 in Nerd
Article cover
Hello nerdy and non-nerdy friends!

My name is Sofia and I love reading. I've always preferred fantasy books, but lately I've been trying to get out of my comfort zone and exploring new genres. I'm also big on re-reading books, so I've decided to re-read a book I had to read a couple of summers ago as part of my English course in high school.

The plot

The book in question is "The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett. It's about two black twins with very light skin. One day they run away from their little town in Louisiana. After a while they break apart and Stella tries to pass as white, meanwhile Desiree marries a dark skinned man and has a daughter named Jude. One day Desiree's daughter meets Stella and, well... you'll see.
a girl reading a book
illustration by Sofia A

Why I liked it

This book is beautifully written. It reads like poetry. I love how it takes us on a journey through time, spanning decades and decades of the lives of these women. We inhabit their lives and their minds for a while, witnessing their journeys, understanding them, up until they meet one of the others and then we explore how their life has been.

It's multigenerational and full of plot twists. Heart wrenching plot twists. I also love how we can see all of the protagonists' point of views. We can really understand their reasoning and we can have empathy for every single one of them, even though we know that they've hurt the other protagonists with their actions.
three books with a bookmark with a pink flower on it
illustration by Sofia A

Important topics

"The Vanishing Half" deals with the very real issue of colorism, which is a big part of racism. Simply put, it's how fair skinned black people face a different type of racism and are generally treated better than their dark skinned counterparts by white people. Now, as a white person myself, I don't think I'm the most qualified person to talk about this topic, but the book explains it really well, by showing how it affects all of the protagonists.

Overall, I think this book is a 10/10 and I recommend you read it!
This is all folks!