The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Well done, Brit Bennett, well done! I'll confess, I wasn't too excited when I first read the premise. At the time I was feeling quite fatigued by just about anything dealing with racism and/or colorism, and I feared that I'd find myself feeling some type of way. For the sake of wanting to participate in book club, however, I gave it a shot.
I am SO glad that I didn't judge the book by its synopsis. Don't get me wrong - I felt tons of emotions while reading this book, and not all of them were pleasant. But Bennett's writing is so beautiful and captivating and honest that I was immediately and continuously enthralled.
I found myself emotionally invested in each character, all of whom were presented with breathtaking levels of depth and complexity. This book is a beautiful and painful portrait of humanity. Bennett handles issues of identity so boldly and candidly, evoking sympathy for the characters even in their most frustrating moments.
I loved the arrangement of the plot, which seamlessly carried us across generations, illustrating just how far and wide the reverberations of trauma can travel. Every moment had a purpose. Never once did I find myself bored or wondering where the plot was going, and by the end, I felt that familiar twinge of longing that characterizes a really amazing novel. Wow. Just, wow.
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