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Narrator Rating (4)

The Vanishing Half: A Novel

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Shayna Small

11 Hours 34 Minutes

Penguin Audio

June 2020

Audio Book Summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A GOOD MORNING AMERICA Book Club Pick! 

“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.

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Reviews

  • Charlene C.

    This was a POWERFUL story! Leaves you with much to think about.

    Book Rating

  • Latoya L.

    Talk about self hatred, some may call it passing, but to take in a new identity and say your family is dead. When in fact you're a twin, Stella, the lightest one. Your niece finds you and outs you to your entitled spoiled child. Desiree the dark twin still lived in their old hometown, Mallard, LA....the niece (the dark girl) opened up Pandoras box which made Stella's made up life apart. Great Read #book21of2020 #bookworm #whatsnext

    Book Rating

  • Adrienne R.

    Excellent read from beginning to end. Narrator did a wonderful job with the voices.

    Book Rating