Well I’m glad I finally read this book. The Vanishing Half was super hyped up on Instagram and I sometimes avoid those books. I’m sure they are great but I’ve noticed that a lot of the time a book everyone else is raving about, I find just pretty good not amazing. And unfortunately that was the case with this one again. I really enjoyed it and I can see why everyone else likes it but I also had some issues with it that most reviews I’ve seen don’t mention. I gave this one 4 stars.
What I didn’t like: The pacing. It’s a slow read. Also the timeline jumps around a lot which is fine, but I did spend a few paragraphs confused. I think the slowness might just be something I don’t enjoy in books. I really want to be sucked into a novel and have that feeling where I can’t put the book down, or I just have to finish this chapter. And a lot of the time with literary fiction like this, I don’t get that feeling. SO many people loved this book so that’s probably just a me thing.
What I liked: The plot was really interesting. Like what a fascinating story. Black twins that are so light-skinned they could pass as white. One of them does pass over and runs away from her life. Stella then hides her true heritage for the rest of her life. While Desiree marries a Black man and has a Black daughter. Stella marries a white man and has a white daughter. Then the daughters accidentally meet and everything gets complicated. There’s also a sub plot about a transgender man and his transition.
So if you don’t mind a read that is a bit slow, this book is really good and really interesting! I was happy this book was chosen for our book club in April and that my sister had a copy with the really cool UK cover. We are discussing the first week of May and I think it will be a really thought-provoking chat.