Stella and Desiree Vignes are identical twins who grew up in Mallard, Louisiana. Mallard is a very small town where the population is 100% light skinned African Americans, and the twins are two of the whitest. Both of the girls are eager to leave their hometown and live in New Orleans. However, Desiree returns with her dark skinned daughter, Jude, after fleeing an abusive marriage while Stella never returns, marries a white man, has a blond daughter and spends her adult life passing as white.
The Vanishing Heart gripped me from the beginning and never let go. Bennett’s second novel, artistically weaves in themes of truth vs lies, prejudice, family and several others. The Vanishing Half would be a good selection for a book club to discuss.