A review by machuvicchu
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I keep putting off writing a review because I don't think whatever I write will do justice to how I really felt when reading this book.

The Vanishing Half details the lives of 4 women interconnected in relation but unalike based on how they present themselves, or rather, how the world perceives them. 

Beautiful. The first few days finishing this novel, that's all I could really say about it. It's left such a profound imprint on me, and made me re-evaluate what I know and recognize about race vs. identity in our society.
The construct of race is such a fickle thing. You may be part of a particular race, but the shade you are or even the use of diction determines what you can and can not do.

There are twists that really kept the plot going but the aspects most compelling to me were these moments where we can see these women (specifically Desiree and Jude) find happiness in their own small ways and really come into their own. 

I don't know what it is specifically but this quote stays with me even now, weeks later.

 “A body could be labeled but a person couldn’t, and the difference between the two depended on that muscle in your chest. that beloved organ, not sentient, not aware, not feeling, just pumping along, keeping you alive.”