Twin sisters Stella and Desiree Vignes may be identical, growing up together in a small, southern black community that prides themselves on their light skin, but when they decide to run away at age sixteen in search of greater lives, their paths quickly drift apart. And when Stella leaves Desiree to begin a totally new life, everything for both twins changes. Ten years later, Desiree lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape and Stella secretly passes for white with her her white husband and daughter who know nothing of her past. Separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins are destined to remain intertwined, and soon their daughters cross paths destined to collide.
Weaving together multiple strands and generations through the Deep South to California to New York City over four decades, Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, generational family saga and a brilliant exploration of the American history of racial identity and passing. The Vanishing Half is an important and essential read for everyone who has ever felt like they don't belong.