The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

“The morning one of the lost twins returned to Mallard, Lou LeBon ran to the diner to break the news”


This is how The Vanishing Half starts. It’s 1950s, and Mallard is a small American town where it’s inhabitants whiten themselves by marrying light and lighter.

The lost twins, Desiree and Stella, had run away years before following an incident.
Desiree is the one returning to Mallard. “A hurt bird always returns to its nest, a hurting woman no different.” She has her daughter, Jude, a darker-skinned child who gets people of Mallard talking. And she doesn’t know where Stella is.

CaptureI don’t want to go on more as I think the blurbs of this book was giving too much of the plot away. (This is a real problem these days, isn’t it, sometimes some books reveal half of the plot in the blurb) I was somehow confused about the twins Desiree and Stella, I thought one of them was white and the other dark but that wasn’t the case (and took me a while to figure out how the mixed-race in Mallard pushed generations to be lighter)

I really enjoyed this book- the writing is beautiful, and the plot is cleverly constructed in the way it moves. I’d definitely be interested to read Brit Bennett again.


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