Heyyyyyyyyy Henny, Well I read The Vanishing Half and here

Heyyyyyyyyy Henny, Well I read The Vanishing Half and here

7/9/2021, 11:50:30 PM
Heyyyyyyyyy Henny, Well I read The Vanishing Half and here is my review: “You could live a life this way, split. As long as you knew who was in charge.” Covering two decades, Britt Bennett sophomore novel The Vanishing Half tackles the topics of colorism, identity, sisterhood, betrayal, and most importantly the effects of performative race that take complete command over the novel. The Vignes twins grow up in the “strange” Black town of Mallard, La where “nobody married dark.” Feeling confined in this town the Vignes twins, Desiree and Stella, decide to leave to find better opportunities for themselves. Eventually, these inseparable sisters go on their own paths to live two completely different lives trying to forget their past and ignore their sisterly bond. One lives her life as a Black woman and the other lives her life as a white woman. Opening with the return of Desiree years later with her daughter to the town of Mallard, Britt Bennett throughout this novel asks the question: what is the price that we have to pay for leaving behind our identity? The novel, Bennett’s second book since The Mothers, is undoubtedly exhilarating. The writing is fast and easy to read making this the perfect book to read in front of the beach. While I found great interest in the story of this sister transforming her life to pass as white, I found myself facing a wall. The easy narration of the book which mixes the present and flashbacks doesn’t allow these characters to be fully developed and make the story feel repetitive. These characters feel flat. Desiree is only given 100 pages to capture the reader making us wonder about her character. When the book shifts to the perspectives of the two daughters, Jude and Kennedy, their sections struggle to keep up with their mother’s narratives. The book could have been fine with just the perspectives of the twin sisters. [Continued]....

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