The Vanishing Half
1 journaler for this copy...
Review: The Vanishing Half (Brit Bennett) This book is on so many lists that I wanted to read it even before it was selected for one of my book clubs (which meets tonight, before I hear any other commentary!). I did really like it overall, and the writing is lovely, easy to read. Here is a multi-generational story with new elements for those of use trying to widen our horizons in the racist America we live in, so there is much food for thought; I did catch myself frequently wondering why I felt so strongly that some things just weren't making sense to me. But here we have a (fictional) town in Louisiana called Mallard where the residents all have black heritage (I won't say they are black... because when you are of mixed heritage, I balk at labeling a person black or white; if we didn't have these labels and treasured whatever makeup we are, perhaps we wouldn't insist on calling every person with one white and one black parent "black"; that is why I always hated labeling Barack Obama, wonderful man that he is, as "black"...sometimes I think the future of the world, if we have one, will depend on all of us being mixed). Anyway, this town was founded by a light-skinned colored person who wanted everybody to be light-skinned, and so it has evolved, and along with it, even the citizens of this town reject their own marrying dark-skinned people. I do hope this will be a large focus of discussion, because it opens so many questions. Twins Desiree and Stella, young children, witness the brutal murder of their father by white men who have accused him of writing a letter to a white woman, even though he is illiterate. When their first attempt does not succeed, they go to the hospital and finish him off. These traumatized kids are being raised by their struggling mom, Adele Vignes, and when she tells them they have to drop out of school and work, decide to run off to New Orleans. In a nutshell, the twins split after a while there. Desiree in the course of her life meets and marries a black man and has a very dark daughter, then returns to Mallard to escape his beatings. Stella has decided to pass herself off as (100%) white and ends up married and living in a wealthy area of California. Her daughter Kennedy and Desiree's daughter Jude eventually meet, but no spoilers. What bothered me in the story was not all the excellent topics for the reader to ponder but the simple fact that there was just too much coincidence; I do think it could have been composed powerfully without it. Why we lie (and I think we all do, trying to find and preserve a version of ourselves that we can live with) is one of those big topics, as well as all the different perspectives from many great characters. It is definitely worth the read.
Journal Entry 2
When Pigs Fly Company Store And Pizzeria in Kittery, Maine USA on Wednesday, May 05, 2021
Released 1 mo ago (5/6/2021 UTC) at When Pigs Fly Company Store And Pizzeria in Kittery, Maine USA
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
On the bench near the entrances