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BookBrowse Reviews The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

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The Vanishing Half

A Novel

by Brit Bennett

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett X
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Jun 2020, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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Brit Bennett's The Vanishing Half explores issues of racism and identity in 20th-century America.

Brit Bennett's second novel, The Vanishing Half (after The Mothers, her 2016 bestselling debut), follows Desiree and Stella Vignes, identical twins born in 1938 in Mallard, Louisiana, a town so small it can't even be found on a map. Settled by the girls' ancestors, the town prides itself on its residents being primarily African Americans with very light skin tones (the lighter, the more prized). The girls run away to New Orleans when they turn 16. Desiree returns home 14 years later with her eight-year-old daughter, Jude, whose skin is so dark it's blue-black, touching off a firestorm of gossip and invective that impacts both mother and child. Stella, on the other hand, disappears without a trace, reinventing herself as a white woman with no family and no past. Marrying outside her race she gives birth to Kennedy, a blond, blue-eyed daughter. As Jude and Kennedy reach adulthood, each ...

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