Desiree, who is “the color of sand barely wet,” marries “the darkest man she could find.” And Stella runs away from Desiree, the same way she ran away from her hometown and her mother, and begins passing for white. Bookclub Pick. Free UK p&p over £15, The Mothers by Brit Bennett review – a bold new voice in American fiction. by Riverhead Books. Desiree recalls he had skin “so light that, on a cold morning, she could turn over his arm to see the blue of his veins. SNL takes on pre-election anxiety in its Halloween cold open, Sean Connery, legendary actor known for his role as James Bond, dies at 90, Yvette Herrell takes New Mexico House seat in pickup for Republicans, Sen. Steve Daines wins in Montana, a must-hold seat for Republicans, Trump signals he’s counting on the Supreme Court to help him steal the election, A new generation of Black progressives has been elected to Congress, Twitter and Facebook both label Trump’s post baselessly asserting that the election is being “stolen”, Greg Gianforte flips Montana governorship to Republicans. # I.❤️. In her new novel, “The Vanishing Half,” Brit Bennett brings to the form a new set of provocative questions: What if passing goes unpunished?

There is deep truth within fairy tales.

Book Club Questions for Leave the World Behind... Review: Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett is one of the best books I’ve read this year. The sisters have always been close, almost like one person, even though they are so different, in personalities.

One decision has the power to completely change the trajectory of one’s life.

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Yet, I was still drawn to her and felt for her, trying to understand her more.

So where does that leave them? This and their upbringing in a small black community in Louisiana where people believe the lighter they are the better life will be.

But we are told in the opening pages what will happen. It will be Jude who encounters the vanished Stella years later, now living in California and married to a wealthy white man. This book is not interested in literary realism. Soooo...first I gave this book 4.5 stars.

This is a practice I do for every novel. While it’s easy to connect with Desiree and the choices she makes, it’s not very easy to accept how Stella has chosen to live a lie and was most of the time unlikable. One that is built around all the secrets buried in the rotten core of America’s racial history. Kirkus, STARRED review "Impressive … This prodigious follow-up surpasses Bennett’s formidable debut. Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett graduated from Stanford University and later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers.

I’m not going into huge detail about the plot because I don’t want to give anything away. I believe it also shows how significant one’s past is and that even if you try to run from it, the past is part of who you are. Mallard, the Louisiana town at the heart of Brit Bennett’s breathtaking new novel The Vanishing Half, is color-struck.

How? This is not just a book to read over the summer, it will be on all the best books of 2020 lists at the end of the year.

No nation can lay lasting claim to a genre, save perhaps one.

But Bennett mostly has us in her pocket. The twins come from Mallard, Louisiana, where having light skin is greatly valued.

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The scene in which Stella adopts her White persona is a tour de force of doubling and confusion.

Four years later, her second, The Vanishing Half, more than lives up to her early promise.

my only wish is that her characters would jump off the page a bit more rather than just remain vessels/outlines for her stories to play out through. Los Angeles-based Brit Bennet’s second novel, The Vanishing Half is the timeless tale of the Vignes twin sisters, who – while born identical – grow up to live two very different lives. So when a rare novel comes around that is truly one of a kind, it’s definitely one to savor. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett review – two faces of the black experience A light-skinned twin sister constructs a new identity as a white woman in …
This is a story about family and a very complicated twin dynamic.

She is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, and her debut novel The Mothers was a New York Times bestseller.

August 2020 F.A.B. This book is getting a lot of buzz, so I was pleased that our book club chose it and gave me an excuse to pick it up. Stella became white and Desiree married the darkest man she could find.".

Yet fair skin did not save their father, whose vicious lynching by a gang of white men marks the girls irrevocably. This was a buddy read with Angela and Diane — it made for interesting discussion and I suspect this one would be a great book club read. The extrovert Desiree is also a homing bird who returns to her sleepy home town. She is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, and her debut novel The Mothers was a New York Times bestseller. It is a fairy tale, and it makes no apologies for being so. Jude, who understands the impulse to transform oneself (having failed to lighten her skin), is enthralled by Reese, her boyfriend, who’s transitioning from woman to man; and Kennedy, crossing the colour line herself, comes to realise that “loving a black man [Frantz] only made her feel whiter than before”. This is a five star must-read!

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A small town called Mallard that is not found on any map, known for their light skinned negroes. What then? Brit Bennett’s breathtaking The Vanishing Half is a dark fairy tale about passing for white, Vox’s live results for the 2020 presidential election. When they are sixteen, they escape their small Louisiana town, to make new lives in New Orleans.

newsletter, I’m obsessed with The West Wing’s truly wild Electoral College maps. Race is a significant part of the book as the twins are in fact divided by race. When she finds Kennedy playing with a black child, she slaps Kennedy’s face and teaches her a racial slur. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. Refresh and try again.

Schwab, Book Club Questions for American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins, Book Club Questions for The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Book Club Questions for The Guest List by Lucy Foley, Book Club Questions for The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes.

The past laps at the present in short flashbacks, never weighing down the quick current of a story that covers almost 20 years. I'm not sure I have words for how excellent this book turned out to be, but terms such as "breathtaking, poignant, and ultimately hopeful" come to mind. We learn in the first few pages that at 16, Desiree and Stella ran off to New Orleans, two hours away, but "after a year, the twins scattered, their lives splitting as evenly as their shared egg.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett features black twin sisters, whose skin is so light that they can pass for white. Oregon voters have taken a big step toward ending the war on drugs.

And Jude recognizes her mother’s missing half when she sees her. June 2nd 2020

Bennett duly enters into the minds of each of her major players, one after another, and she is thoughtful enough to be empathetic with each in their darkest moments. The same, of course, can be said of writers and their characters. She is plainly more interested in the first generation than the second, however: Jude in particular is underwritten, and only comes fully alive in the tenderness of her relationship with her boyfriend, a trans man who is struggling to transition in the 1970s without any money.

This is a thought provoking story and a few scenes were not easy to read. The structure of the story is original.

Bennett chose to narrate her first novel, somewhat trickily, by the eponymous mothers, a gossipy sort of Greek chorus of older but not wiser churchwomen who follow the twists and turns of the young protagonist's life as if it were a soap opera.
I truly believe that reading can get to people more so than other mediums. In recent years, passing narratives have shed their sentimentality and turned surreal (Boots Riley’s film “Sorry to Bother You”), comic (Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman”) and playful (Mat Johnson’s novel “Loving Day”). A light-skinned twin sister constructs a new identity as a white woman in a clever novel that confounds expectations. Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for an advance copy.

This story is so fascinating, heart-wrenching at times and also surprising. As Jude suffers the viciousness of her color-struck town, it’s impossible not to think of Pecola Breedlove in “The Bluest Eye.” In Stella — with her indifference to convention that can tip into chilling cruelty — we feel some affinity with the heroine of “Sula.” There is a touch of Dorothy Allison in Bennett’s evocation of girlhood and small-town life, and in the book’s most resonant parallel, Stella leans out of a bedroom window to smoke a cigarette at a party, recalling the climactic scene of Larsen’s “Passing.”. When they are sixteen, they escape their small Louisiana town, to make new lives in New Orleans. The Vanishing Half revolves around the daughters of the lynched man. Though Stella comes to feel “a secret transgression was even more thrilling than a shared one”, she lives on amber alert in fear of her fabricated story unravelling.

The Vanishing Half is a beautifully-written novel that … But unlike here, they usually involve retribution for what is regarded as an unforgivable moral transgression. Both books are top notch, more than five star, literary fiction at its finest.

Some depth is sacrificed for the swiftness; the book doesn’t burrow into the psychology of its characters so much as map the wages of artifice, fracture and loss across generations. [Why do you think the author was compelled to bring transsexuality (Reese) into the story?

Despite these shortcomings, “The Vanishing Half” is a brave foray into vast and difficult terrain. Let’s face it, 2020 is making us long for other timelines.

There’s racism here, a violent incident against a man, witnessed by his young twin daughters, and more trauma for one of the girls than we want to imagine. Book Club Gem!!! But Bennett excels in conjuring the silences of families and in evoking atmosphere: the claustrophobia of the small town and its scuzzy and beloved saloon (“Cold Women! The Vanishing Half is written in a more conventional tight third person, shifting between characters and generations – primarily Desiree and Stella and their daughters, one "blueblack" dark, one blonde, one smart and grounded, the other spoiled and lost. When you purchase an independently reviewed book through our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Spanning nearly half a century, from the 1940s to the 1990s, the novel focuses on twin sisters, Desiree and Stella Vignes, who were raised in Mallard, Louisiana, a (fictional) small town conceived of by their great-great-great grandfather — after being freed by the father who once owned him — as an exclusive place for light-skinned blacks like him.

They are still subject to prejudice and hate crimes. [ The Vanishing Half is the fairy tale we need right now to tell us the truth.

And before the book begins, one of Mallard’s sons is ripped from his home by white people and lynched, twice — once in his front yard, and then once in his hospital bed after he survived the first time. Her characters are forever calculating what's lost and what's gained at each turn, what vanishes and what remains.


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