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The Vanishing Half

Brit Bennett
2020, 343 p.

The Vanishing Half follows the lives of two twin girls Desiree and Stella, both light-skinned, who run away from home at the age of sixteen. They live in Mallard, a fictional small town in Louisiana in the 1950s and are remote descendants of a slave owner and a slave. They want to create opportunities for a better life for themselves. Desiree marries a dark-skinned man and gives birth to a very dark-skinned girl named Jude. Stella takes on a new identity, that of a white woman. She marries a well-to-do white man and gives birth to a white girl named Kennedy. Stella's husband and child will never know that she is from a black family. One day the nieces meet by chance.They become friends and gradually the family secrets are revealed but family ties prove to be unbreakable. This story shows that once you start te?ling lies, to fake your identity, there is no escape. The Vanishing Half was long listed for the National Book Award.


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