A review by wordssearched
The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett


This beautifully written novel about twins from a forgotten Louisiana town touches on many themes—race, identity, transformation, family—but it's a quiet story. It hinges on one twin's decision to assume a white identity and leave her family behind. Spanning over twenty years, the narrative is my favorite kind, not one driven by specific events, but rather one about lives lived and how relationships and identity shift over time. Bennett offers a thoughtful exploration of race and gender as constructs and how identity-driven choices can be destructive and haunting, but also life-saving and life-affirming. Well-paced, with beautifully rendered characters. Not always joyful, but a joy to read.