The first thing that caught my eye about this book is the gorgeous cover! It’s so vibrant! Next of course is the synopsis. I have always enjoyed a book about sisters.
This is my first book by Britt Bennett, and it won’t be my last. She has a way with story telling that draws you in and keeps you turning the pages. This story is about black teenagers and twin sisters Stella and Desiree. Stella is the twin everyone thought would go far in life, the smart one. Desiree is the leader, and the mouthy one. They live in a small town called Mallard that is barely a blip on the radar. It was so interesting to me that this was a black community only, and they were all light skinned.
The twins’ story really begins when they leave Mallard one night without telling anyone. Desiree is the drive behind leaving, and she is also the one that returns years later. Unfortunately while searching for bigger and better things, the sisters drift apart. Desiree had no idea that Stella wanted to be someone else entirely. Stella wanted to be white, and with her light skin color nobody ever thought different.
This story is both amazing and heartbreaking. Going beyond the color of skin and more into the choices we make. This book is all the rage on social media, and that tends to make me proceed with caution. I’m also usually not one for such a character driven story, but this book changed my mind.
Book Rating: 4/5
Wine Pairing: St Supéry Sauvignon Blanc
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. Ten 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.