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Review: New unique checks out race, identity, belonging


This cover image released by Riverhead Books programs “The Vanishing Half,” an unique by BritBennett (Riverhead Books through AP)

This cover image released by Riverhead Books programs “The Vanishing Half,” an unique by BritBennett (Riverhead Books through AP)

“The Vanishing Half,” by Brit Bennett (Riverhead)

A brand-new unique checks out the construct of race in the diverging lives of light- skinned black twins, among whom transitions into a life as a white lady.

“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett is wonderfully composed, thought-provoking and immersive. It follows Desiree and Stella, who hail from the town of Mallard, envisioned by its founder as a location for individuals like him.

“Lightness, like anything inherited at a great cost, was a lonely gift,” Bennett composes in an example of the extensive knowledge woven throughout thebook

The older, wilder twin Desiree has little perseverance for the townspeople’s fixation with lightness. “Her father had been so light that, on a cold morning, she could turn his arm over to see the blue of his veins. But none of that mattered when the white men came for him, so how could she care about lightness after that?”

Even as Stella, the twin who transitions after leaving Mallard, sheds a few of the concerns of being viewed as black, she gets in its location the mental toll of passing as white, of lying to those closest to her.

“At first, passing seemed so simple, she couldn’t understand why her parents hadn’t done it,” Bennett composes. “But she was young then. She hadn’t realized how long it takes to become someone else, or how lonely it can be living in a world not meant for you.”

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Issues of opportunity, inter-generational injury, the randomness and unfairness of all of it, are teased apart in all their intricacy, within a story that likewise discuss universal styles of love, identity and belonging.

“The Vanishing Half,” with its smart property and highly established characters, is unputdownable and extremely advised.

Source: AP News

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