She hadn’t realized how long it takes to become somebody else, or how lonely it can be living in a world not meant for you.”Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half
WOW. This is definitely a favorite of 2020 for me. If I’m going to read fiction (literary, historical), I really need it to get me intrigued from the beginning. THE VANISHING HALF by Brit Bennett definitely delivered. I didn’t quite know what to expect diving into this book, but it was full of things that I never saw coming. This book for me was about unconditional love, family and family ties, white privilege and racism, and most importantly to Stella and Desiree, identity.
Bennett throws the reader into the lives of two sisters who, because of the lightness of their skin, had the choice to create and live their identities the way they wanted to, and who ultimately chose two very different paths. I love a novel that is atmospheric and allows me to create strong visuals in my mind, and THE VANISHING HALF did just that. I felt invested in Stella and Desiree’s lives, needing answers and resolutions. I fell in love with the setting, the characters, and the friendships.
This story is beautifully written, timely, and emotional. Although stunning and enthralling, this is not a light read. It’s a heavy one that sits with you for a while, needing to be digested. It leads the reader to think about what shapes one’s identity. That some of us are privileged enough to not have to choose, to not have to live in fear of how others view and perceive us. Bennett managed to create a compelling, visceral piece with a slight twinge of suspense. This is a must-read, and could not have arrived at a more important time. I am THRILLED for the HBO adaptation. I also think this would be a great book club pick! I highly recommend picking this one up, and will link it below! Read on, and SSDGM!
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
A GOOD MORNING AMERICA Book Club Pick