Vanishing Half, TheBennett, Britt
Mallard, Louisiana, is an enigma - the townsfolk are people of colour but are pale enough to pass as white. It is not until identical twins Desiree and Stella Vignes move away as sixteen-year-olds, that their disparate futures emerge. Stella is upwardly mobile and is white-passing, while Desiree embraces her black heritage. However, it is only when their respective daughters meet, one black, one white, that the twins are reunited.
Engaging and easy to read, this is a fascinating story covering the 1950s-1990s, that examines race and identity through a unique lens.
This title is also offered as part of the Narrative Muse Book Club.
Comments were positive about the language and writing style. Very stimulating discussion around whether racism has declined since the 1960s.
A good read. Stimulated responses as to what we would do in the various situations that occurred.
Our group had mixed views about this book, but mostly we found it interesting and well-written.
Very interesting book which generated lots of discussion. Generally felt the ending could have been better. It left us wondering.
All enjoyed the book - great characterisation and thought-provoking.
One of our ladies loved it and gave it 5 out of 5. The rest of us liked it but felt that it lacked something and was a bit flat in places and wasn't a gripping story. One lady said it had body but not guts which summed it up for most of us - an easy read but forgettable. Still a good discussion though - as always!
The book lead to really good discussions, including about all the different ways that people lie and the consequences and reasons for lying. Those sound like dark topics, but it was an engaging read with a realistic (rather than Hollywood) ending.
Everyone enjoyed this book. Great discussion.
Group was conflicted over this book. Everyone enjoyed the story/plot. Nobody liked the ending. We all felt there was not enough development of some characters and relationships and no closure. Great discussion on realities of racism and if re-inventing yourself to have a better life justifies the inevitable lying. The twin in our group felt it unlikely a twin would be able to break that bond but we did agree circumstances do make people behave in unlikely ways. Certainly a book that provoked great discussion.
This book was enjoyed by all members, and we had a lively discussion encompassing race, gender and identity. The consensus view was of a well-written book , and this author will be sought for more reading opportunities.
Really interesting story about diversity. Set in America. Easy to read, most of us enjoyed it.
Enjoyed by the majority of the group. Good depiction of racial attitudes in small town America.
Good discussion related to personal family experiences of 'lighter' siblings experiencing a different childhood in NZ schools.
We all enjoyed this book. Beautifully written. Interesting characters and thoughtful themes. Lent itself to a good discussion.
Provoked a lively discussion. Interesting ideas about gender and racial identity. Interesting parallels - many aspects of different races and countries.
I loved this book! Everyone read it which is unusual. Fascinating discussion about colourism and white privilege. Highly recommend.