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The Vanishing Half
The Vanishing Half: A Novel | Brit Bennett
From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white. The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect? Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins. As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.
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Shaaaannnn
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Got some good finds at goodwill today. Stoked to read them both! Also stoked to have hard copies. My last 5 reads have been ebooks!

Jensol77 An American Marriage was awesome and thought provoking 7h
5 likes1 comment
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Jaimelire
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Pickpick

Good story, the characters were well developed and I really enjoyed the story. Was a book club pick. I am looking forward to the discussion about this one.

5feet.of.fury Loved this one! 2w
20 likes1 comment
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IuliaC
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Pickpick

A beautiful novel dealing with race, identity and gender issues and past-related trauma. At age 16 two identical twins leave their small hometown and one of them, Estelle, abandons her sister in an attempt to erase her haunting past and live as a white person. Despite the sisters being separated by distance and the different worlds they each live in, their daughters' lives become interlaced and Estelle can no longer ignore her past and origins.

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vonnie862
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Just letting my team know that I received the last book. I'll start reading it tonight so it can go back to its original owner soon.

#LMPBC15 @BookishBelle
@Kimzey @Readergrrl
#GroupT. @suvata

Readergrrl Hi @vonnie862 Don‘t rush on my account. I hope you enjoy it! 1mo
Kimzey I'm reading my last one also: The Bloodprint.

4w
40 likes1 stack add2 comments
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BaBaBaBillyAndTheBooks
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Mehso-so

When Stella takes on a new identity in California, or her daughter Kennedy leaves for New York, or Stella‘s sister Desiree runs away from her hometown, they each pursue a kind of freedom, a new potential. For the less sensitive, running is easy and leads to a comfortable life. The journey is tougher for those who can‘t help but turn around toward those they love, who choose not to forget.

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BookishBelle
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book. It was emotional and such a good story. I wanted to know what happened next. I‘m so glad I decided to read it even though it was a little difficult for me. I‘m thinking that since I already have the next read for #LMPBC #Round15 #GroupT, I will read ‘I Am The Messenger‘ asap and get them in the mail together. This is my last week at a job I‘ve had for 14 years so I‘m prob not making it to the PO until next week anyway.

24 likes1 comment
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BookishBelle
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I‘ve been absent recently. Life has been heavy. I‘m not sure this read is going to help but it‘s next on my TBR. I received it Saturday for #LMPBC #Round15 #GroupT. Here goes ladies! @Kimzey @vonnie862 @Readergrrl

Readergrrl Honestly, I loved this book, but if you are feeling the weight of the world right now, don‘t force yourself to read it. Just send it on its merry way! Read something to bring you joy or help you escape for awhile. My feelings will not be hurt one bit!! I enjoyed this book, but it is a heavy read that I wouldn‘t want to read either if I weren‘t in the right frame of mind. Zero pressure! Reading should be a pleasure, not a burden! 2mo
BookishBelle Thank you @Readergrrl ! I‘m going to give it a try. 2mo
17 likes2 comments
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Kimberlone
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Storygraph September wrap-up. Not a great reading month - I read only 2 books that were 4⭐️ and everything else was pretty middling. It was really only in the second half of the month that I got into a better reading groove.

BekaReid I seriously love StoryGraph and all the charts & graphs! 2mo
Kimberlone @BekaReid yes they are great! 2mo
Hedon Just made an account on StoryGraph. Didn‘t know it yet. Thanks! 2mo
Kimberlone @Hedon I still track on Goodreads, but the Storygraph has so many more features for rating and all the fun graphs for tracking your reading stats! 2mo
Hedon I‘m a statistics freak so I will definitely double track. Twice the fun :-) 2mo
42 likes5 comments
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elisebarker
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Pickpick

Thank you @DimeryRene for letting me borrow this one! A beautiful, devastating book about sisters and race. This one will stick with me for a while…

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Kimberlone
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Pickpick

4⭐️ This one has been sitting on my TBR since I picked it for my #BOTM back in 2020 (gasp!). I‘m so glad I finally got to it because this is an excellent book. Following the decades-long consequences of the decisions that twins Stella and Desiree Vignes make upon escaping their tiny Louisiana town, The Vanishing Half depicts the diverging paths of the twins and their daughters from 1950s Louisiana to 1980s Los Angeles.

Kimberlone I thought the writing was really beautiful, but my one criticism is that I was somewhat underwhelmed by the ending. (edited) 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Still on my tbr shelf! 2mo
Kimberlone @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I still have so many to get to!! 2mo
5feet.of.fury I loved it 2mo
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Kimberlone
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My #audiowalk led me to a local coffee shop and bakery. Not pictured is the ham and cheese croissant I already devoured. I‘m trying to finish this book, plus one other before the end of the month. I want to be able to start fresh for #Scarathlon in October!

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Kimberlone
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This book has been languishing on my TBR for so long, I put it in my book bag so that it could be my go to if I have some downtime. I‘m waiting for an oil change now, and am taking the opportunity to finally dig in!

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JackieGreco
Pickpick

Fun and easy read, definitely a page turner. The story is about two twins that go in different directions with their lives and one twin disappearing completely. 4/5

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booklover3258
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Pickpick

My review of this book can be found on my YouTube Vlog at:

https://youtu.be/2sNW2EgQWeI

Enjoy!

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TheSpineView
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Bailedbailed

This is going to be an unpopular opinion. I read about 45 pages and couldn't go any further. The plot was soooo slow. I was bored and found my mind wondering every time I picked this book up. This is a great book for a sleepless night, guaranteed to make you sleep like a baby. 🤣🥱

PageShifter Surprising!! I have not read this one but I have planned to do it because this has been so hyped 3mo
5feet.of.fury I did like this one, but it doesn‘t go anywhere in a hurry, I‘ll give you that 😅 3mo
TheSpineView @5feet.of.fury Yeap 3mo
TheSpineView @PageShifter Hope you enjoy it 3mo
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hclaird
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Pickpick

Incredible concept and storyline following the Vignes twins and their daughters. This was my first Brit Bennett novel and I have to say the characters were so well-written and complex that they often felt real. While the end of this story kind of trickled away instead of providing a large resolution, it almost felt more appropriate because that‘s how real life is. It‘s messy, it ebbs and flows and sometimes we just keep moving on.

Saknicole I‘m going to read that one soon! 4mo
hclaird I enjoyed it! 3mo
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Catsandbooks
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Pickpick

3/5 ⭐️ This was a soft pick for me. I think it could have been much more powerful, but it just kind of...ended. Hope y'all enjoy it though #LMPBC Group B

#JubilantJuly

Leftcoastzen 😻 4mo
Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 4mo
Saknicole ❤️ 4mo
HufflepuffGirl90 @Catsandbooks Got this today! Can‘t wait to start reading! (edited) 4mo
Catsandbooks @HufflepuffGirl90 glad it arrived! 4mo
61 likes5 comments
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Maallen
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Pickpick

Found myself thinking so much after reading this book about identity and the micro cultures we create in our communities.

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Itchyfeetreader
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Pickpick

After finding her first novel not being for me I really enjoyed this one. A multi generational novel of sorts it asks important questions about identify and place as we follow the implications of 16 year old twins running away from home and grappling with race in 20th century America. I📸 Brussels

AmyG What a beautiful reading spot! 5mo
mabell 😍😍😍 5mo
Chelsea.Poole Wow! Gorgeous!! 5mo
CarolynM Lovely! Enjoy Belgium. 4mo
39 likes4 comments
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Catsandbooks
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Hoping to make progress on multiple reads!

🌴The Vanishing Half
🌴All the Light We Cannot See
🌴Last Summer At The Golden Hotel

#JubilantJuly Readathon

Andrew65 Great to have you with us, good luck 😊👍 5mo
41 likes1 comment
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Hanna-B
Mehso-so

Although I enjoyed this book, after the review hype I was left feeling a bit meh

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AFrostCauseReads
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Pickpick

I love how intricate and varying the characters are in Bennett‘s books. She has mastered the writing technique, “show, don‘t tell” and it makes her characters so undeniably real and complex.

Beyond that, her topics are so well balanced & focused.

Here we have twins, both light but still poc. One goes on to have a very dark daughter, the other starts passing as white and has a very caucasian daughter. The similarities and contrasts are striking!

Readergrrl I‘m reading this for my #LMPBC club right now and I said the exact same thing in my marginalia. Bennett‘s ability to “show, not tell” is remarkable!! 4mo
AFrostCauseReads @Readergrrl It makes her writing and characters so vivid! 4mo
20 likes2 comments
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Catsandbooks
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Looking forward to this next round of #LMPBC ☺️
#groupB

HufflepuffGirl90 Can‘t wait!!! 😍📚 6mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beasts is one of my all time favorites 💫🌟 5mo
50 likes2 comments
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JacintaMCarter
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Pickpick

#2022Book58
This will likely end up as one of my favorite books this year. I love novels that cover multiple decades and follow various members from one family, and this novel did that so well! Brit Bennett is an amazing writer, and her books always have complex characters, a compelling plot, and absolutely gorgeous sentences.

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turrifel
Mehso-so

This book was disappointing. I thought it was a beautiful story but the style of writing didn‘t really draw me in. 6/10

Hanna-B Same 5mo
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Sarahreadstoomuch
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Pickpick

I cannot wait for my book group meeting to talk about this one! So much to think about- colorism/racism, the lasting effect of secrets, what family means…. There‘s a lot going on that I‘m willing to overlook the somewhat dissatisfying ending.

KristiAhlers I loved this book. So much to unpack! Hope you have a great night discussing it. 6mo
Sarahreadstoomuch @KristiAhlers thank you! I really enjoyed it! 6mo
Hanna-B Food for thought a discussion but I also didn‘t love it 5mo
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DMC_run8
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Pickpick

Desiree and Stella are twins born and raised in Mallard, LA, a town where the lightness of one's skin is prized. At 16 the girls flee the confines of their small town and head to New Orleans where one of them disappears. The story follows the trajectory of Desiree and Stella's lives after their separation. 4⭐️

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5feet.of.fury
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Pickpick

This book was wonderful. I feel that it will be and/or should be stuffed into American Literature coursework immediately. A nuanced look at race, colorism, classism, generational trauma, LGBT issues, what it means to be family and generally how people make their way in life.

Spoilers/my thoughts on the ending in the comments

5feet.of.fury I‘ve seen a lot of negatives re: the ending, and while I would have liked more closure, I think it‘s fitting: Stella sitting on her MOAS disconnected from everyone because that‘s what she did to have “a big life” but did she? While she wasn‘t a villain, she did have some moments of villainy, her daughter didn‘t know her, her husband didn‘t understand her, keeping everyone at arms length to protect her secret. 7mo
jlhammar Agree! Great book. 7mo
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Outofcontroltbr
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this story although I‘m a bit disappointed in the ending. All in all an interesting read with many twists and turns. It was hard to put down once I got into it.

5feet.of.fury I‘m starting this today and saw a lot of reviews are meh on the ending 😩 7mo
Outofcontroltbr It‘s still a really great read and maybe there will be another book but I still really enjoyed it. I hope you do too ☺️ 7mo
5feet.of.fury @Outofcontroltbr well, I finished it in 1 day 😅 7mo
5feet.of.fury I would have liked more closure but I‘m ok with it 7mo
Outofcontroltbr @5feet.of.fury 😀 7mo
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erickahhh
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Pickpick

Wow, I loved this book! It was very interesting with amazing character development. It is rare that I like every character! The story was very engaging and developed nicely. It touched on many racial and sexual minority issues that often go undiscussed

Hanna-B I was not so keen on Stella 5mo
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Curvybookgirl
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Mehso-so

This was actually my pick for book club and I wasn‘t all that impressed with it sadly. I just couldn‘t warm to the story or the characters and it‘s taken me a very long time to read as a result

Hanna-B Also didn‘t love it 5mo
6 likes1 comment
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Blerdgal_Fenix
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For all my Disney nerds out there!! I actually read this book. Giggled when I saw in it in the Proud Family remake #disney #disneynerd

Zuhkeeyah Is the remake good? I‘ve been nervous to watch in case they didn‘t do the original justice. 7mo
Blerdgal_Fenix @Zuhkeeyah it‘s okay. I loved that particular episode with Lizzo. The series is building new stories, but I now realize Penny‘s friends are kinda toxic. 🤷🏾‍♀️ 7mo
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Taylor
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Pickpick

It felt a little long, as I was definitely ready for it to be over before it was over, but there are some epic, dramatic moments, and Bennett does really well with working on a large, sweeping scope, lending it a cinematic, almost Bildungsroman feel.

She is also terrific at characterization. There are many strong, well defined characters. I can picture some of these people in my head with no problem.

A lot of things to be impressed with here.

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Taylor

I‘m enjoying this pretty well! To me it‘s more of a plot-focused novel, because the writing is not flourishy, but more used as a tool to tell the story. Compare this to “Luster,” for example—it‘s not like that. There are some aspects that make for an epic tale though, Dickensian almost.

I know a miniseries is supposed to come out based on this book…HBO I believe.

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MindyK59
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Pickpick

This book was my Book Club‘s pick for this month. I enjoyed it but I was a little disappointed in the ending. The story overall was very interesting to me. It took the characters through many years of their lives and told how the decisions they made in their youth affected not only them but their children many years later.

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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Pickpick

The Vanishing Half lands somewhere between An American Marriage and Little Fires Everywhere, in terms of tone and style, with a dustier accent of historical fiction. It‘s certainly a provocative read, and one that rightfully holds a prize place in the recent wave of interrogative popular fiction. Full review: https://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-vanishing-half-brit-bennett/

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Creadnorthey
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Pickpick

This was just super- elegant and eloquent writing with a terrific family drama that is sweeping in its effect. Lovely!

BarbaraBB Great pic! 8mo
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Sargar114
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Pickpick

This was a fantastic look at identity and the risks taken to find your own. I usually don‘t care for slice of life type stories, but this seemed to be so much more and was beautifully done. Theirs was my #doublespin for March

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 8mo
25 likes1 comment
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Simona
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Mehso-so

Interesting themes (gender roles, discrimination, race, racial passing …), but I expected to be blown away and I wasn‘t. Maybe the reason for that is Slovenian translation🤷🏻‍♀️

vivastory You have probably read Larsen's Passing. If not, I would definitely recommend it as VH was heavily influenced by it but not as good IMO 8mo
Leniverse @vivastory I haven't read the Vanishing Half, but whenever someone talks about it I keep thinking, "so... it's Nella Larsen's Passing, but in more words and more recent setting"? I keep wondering if I should read it anyway, just because it's everywhere and everybody's read it. 8mo
Ruthiella I liked The Vanishing Half, but I think it was also overstuffed and a little heavy handed. I liked Bennett‘s debut The Mothers more. Passing is a more accomplished and subtle novel. Very short but packs a punch. 8mo
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vivastory @Leniverse I read Vanishing Half prior to Passing & overall I enjoyed it but I had several issues with it. I remember some unnecessary as well as some underdeveloped potlines Whereas Passing was one of my favorite books of last year. I'm still recommending it a year later. 8mo
vivastory @Ruthiella I will definitely read Bennett again. I want to read The Mothers. 8mo
BarbaraBB Agree with all of the above. I was disappointed by TVH too and I loved both Passing and The Mothers. 8mo
Simona @vivastory I have and I liked it very much too (I even liked the Netflix‘ film), and maybe that comparison with Passing is a little bit unfair, because that slim book really has extremely strong expressive narrative line. That was my first book by Bennett, and I don‘t know why, but I never felt that she is author for me @Ruthiella @BarbaraBB @Leniverse 8mo
Hanna-B Also not blown away, not even a light gust 5mo
52 likes8 comments
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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Pickpick

Such a great book group choice! We had so many topics to discuss. That said, Bennett keeps the book focused on her characters and their circumstances. She doesn‘t get preachy or too focused on all the various themes. Plus, the genetics aspect dovetailed into some genealogy reading I‘m doing right now. Wins all around!

Full review https://www.TheBibliophage.com #thebibliophage2022

CarolynM Loved this one. 9mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage @CarolynM Yes! I need to go back and read her debut now. 9mo
CarolynM Yes, you really do🙂 8mo
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Smrloomis
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Pickpick

I‘ve finished… and still don‘t know how I feel about it exactly. Some parts I was completely engrossed by and some not so much. Very curious to see how the TV adaptation turns out!

Taylor You gonna watch this? 7mo
Smrloomis @Taylor I definitely want to! What about you? 7mo
Taylor @Smrloomis Maybe. I guess I‘ll decide when it comes out. 7mo
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Smrloomis
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Huh. I‘m half way through and still have somewhat mixed feelings. Let‘s see how it ends…

she.hearts.horror Yea … sigh 9mo
Smrloomis @she.epeolatry 🤷🏻‍♀️ Maybe it‘ll make for good discussion/debate but yeah… still undecided on this one! 9mo
she.hearts.horror I am very curious as to how this will translate on HBO ( there‘s a show coming). This book was not at all about what was advertised and it didn‘t really address the multiple and unnecessary subplots. I would love to read a book about what the synopsis says this book is. If you find one, please share😭 (edited) 9mo
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Smrloomis @she.epeolatry I‘m also interested to see how the adaptation will come out. I‘m wondering if it might actually be a better version somehow. Let‘s see 🤔 9mo
Taylor @she.epeolatry What‘d you think it was going to be? I mean what‘d the synopsis say? I didn‘t read any synopsis, I just read it based on the cover lol. 7mo
Smrloomis @Taylor the cover is beautiful no doubt. But I thought we would spend more time with Stella and see more of how she thought about what she was doing. So I was somewhat disappointed. 7mo
Taylor @Smrloomis I see. 7mo
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Mariasimon
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Pickpick

Wow this book was so interesting. Twins born in the 1950s as black, but potentially white passing in a small town in Louisiana. Both sisters run away at 16, one to return after an abusive partner, one to identify as white and create a whole new life. Their lives eventually intertwine many years later. Their stories are told so truthfully and this book was so captivating.

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Yoricke_SouthAfrica
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Mehso-so

This was an interesting story, and a well written book.
The ending was a little disappointing.

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Simona
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Perfect reading weather 🌬🌧 and praised book … #weekendreading

Andrew65 Have a good weekend. 9mo
Simona Thank you @andrew65 Good weekend to you too❣️ 9mo
Andrew65 @Simona Thanks 🥰 9mo
53 likes3 comments