Book name: Vanishing Half”
Author of the book: Brit Bennett
Publishing Company: Riverhead Books
Genre: Historical fiction, adult fiction, historical, race, African American literature
Summary: Outstanding, emotional, the story centered on identity crisis, politics and racism
Wowza! This is unique! This is impeccable! This is perfectly written and I wished it never ended, pushed myself to read it slower, rereading some chapters over and over! It’s phenomenal and one of the best readings of the year!
Welcome to Mallard/Louisa: small town can be hardly found ( or never found) on your maps: maybe you may accidentally find there during your unluckiest hitchhiking experience. A town has been founded by Alphonse Decuir, inherited acres of land from his father, making this place the home of people who are not accepted in the white community but also who reject to be treated like negroes. And in 1938 two little girls- identical twins: Stella and Desiree Vignes were born. Throughout the years they have been having hard times to find their places in the community, Desiree always told her sister she would find a way to get the hell of there. It’s not easy to relate in place where its people think if you have lighter skin, you may have better luck.
And when they are sixteen, their mother pushes them to leave school and work in a wealthy white people’s gorgeous mansion as cleaners. Stella starts yearning the rich people’s lives as Desiree dreams other possibilities they can have. When she watches Roman Holiday at the theater she dreams to be actress which makes her thing endless possibilities of outer world as soon as she escape from her prisoner life in the town.
And one day: they truly leave the town to go to New Orleans, only two hours away. But as you can imagine: running away from your home in your young ages without enough money and life experiment push the girls’ limits. They may take risks or go back to the place where they run. So both of them take different paths which result with different life patterns: Stella marries with a wealthy white man and has a girl who thinks she is white as Desiree choses to end her relationship with her abusive husband and go back to Mallard 14 years later with her child and because of her child’s dark skin she is unwelcomed by town’s people.
Even though I had some prejudged approach to Stella’s life choices, it was impossible not to ache for her as you witness her melancholy, loneliness, trying to living a lie.
Throughout 40 years, we witness twins’ lives and see how their daughters’ paths cross.
Normally I don’t like to read stories told by too many POVS which could be confusing and create unnecessary commotion in my head but this time hearing multiple voices and reading the incredible stories which are connected and completed each other like puzzle pieces were joyful reading experience for me.
This story is truly though-provoking, extremely emotional, soul crushing, realistic, shaking you to the core. This is one of the books stay with you forever. I truly enjoyed each chapter, characters and I highly recommend it to fiction, historical fiction genre lovers.
After this fantastic literature feast, I’m looking forward to read the author’s previous work: “Mothers”