the vanishing half ending explained

The Vanishing features no ETs or even man-eating seabirds, but the tale that the writers Joe Bone and Celyn Jones have cooked up does feature frightening pirate … Upon seeing her bruises, he lies to Sam and says he can't find her. Stella is a light-skinned Black woman passing as white, and Desiree is a light-skinned Black woman who chooses to maintain her Black identity. Kennedy is pursuing an acting career, and she confirms that it was Stella. She meets and marries a man named Sam Winston. Based on Tim Krabbé’s novel The Golden Egg, George Sluizer's The Vanishing was a minor sensation when it finally debuted in U.S. arthouses in late 1990/early 1991, a full two years after it was made. Who did you sympathize or connect with more, Stella or Desiree? The Vanishing Half is an intergenerational examination of identity, and what it’s like to grow up in a body you’ve been conditioned to feel ashamed of. I knew based on the reviews that it would likely be a book with good insights on race, but I was surprised how much I enjoyed the story even apart from that. Kennedy ends up confronting Stella with the photo, but Stella lies, to Kennedy's frustration. I very much enjoyed this book the whole way through. A shame, really. Anyways, for my final review of the year I have chosen to do Indigo’s top book of the year, Goodreads’ top historical fiction book of the year, and one of Obama’s favourite books of the year—The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. The Vanishing was released on 27 October 1988, and received positive reviews. It’s a poignant family story that doesn’t shy away from the intersections of race, class, and gender—all while capturing the reader’s heart and mind in a … As teenagers, what do you think drove Desiree and Stella’s desires to leave the town? Leave your thoughts below! After reading your review, I see that every character in this story had their own secrets, even down to Early and Barry, which made me appreciate the author’s crafting of this book. I always prefer when the author really ties everything up in a pretty bow (to my own fault). Adele passes away, and Jude and Reese go home to attend the funeral. Very sad scenario, regardless of the story. Desiree and Stella have witnessed the lynching of their father, Leon, who is shot in front of his house but initially survives and is taken to the hospital.The lynchers then invade his hospital room and kill him. The novel ends with Iris refusing to let go of Esme’s hand no matter what. When dismissed from this work, the two go in opposite directions. She meets and falls for Reese, a southern boy who is transgendered. The novel progressively reveals more and more intimacies, including the … A. I love novels that tell stories of communities. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, A story about two twins living divergent lives. eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. For the next week, I'm hoping we'll be able to respond to these questions and build off of each other's responses. Jude is still in touch with Kennedy and lets her know, though their mothers do not know they speak. In 1954, Desiree and Stella, then aged sixteen, run away from home, leaving behind their mother, Adele, who works in a diner. Meanwhile, Stella got a job as secretary while passing as white. Stella also gives Early her wedding ring to sell off for money to help with Adele's care. In 1968, shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the urban turmoil unleashed in its aftermath, Desiree takes Jude and leaves Sam, returning to Mallard without leaving him any word as to where she has gone. Briefly, The Vanishing Half is a story about racial issues in the deep South from the 1950s through the 1990s. I really, really wish I had a group to discuss this book with right now. What do you think about Jude’s curiosity about Stella? The Vanishing is at its best when anything could happen; as soon as things actually begin to it rapidly loses the audience’s interest. In Part II (1978), Jude is now in college at UCLA. The Vanishing Half is a quintessential book club book. Part I: The Lost Twins (1968) Summary and Analysis, Part II: Maps (1978) Summary and Analysis, Part III: Heartlines (1968) Summary and Analysis, Part IV: The Stage Door (1982) Summary and Analysis, Part V: Pacific Cove (1985/1988) Summary and Analysis, Part VI: Places (1986) Summary and Analysis. For my cocktail, I am making a White Russian. Why do you think Stella feels she has to leave Desiree in New Orleans without saying goodbye? Stella befriends Loretta, but tries to hide it from others. Jude gives Kennedy a photo of their mothers. In 1954, when they are sixteen, they run away from home. There is no special trick or skill involved in the process. It was also an unexpectedly effortless read, considering the somewhat heavy topics in the book. Soon after, Kennedy finally decides to move home. Do you think that’s a healthy fixation? “The Vanishing Half” answers all these questions in this exquisite story of love, survival and triumph. In Part VI (1986), Stella goes home in order to ask Desiree to tell Jude to leave Kennedy alone. See the archives. Jude and Kennedy get to know each other, but when Kennedy drunkenly insults Jude, Jude angrily tells her the truth about Stella and Mallard. In what ways are those challenges similar or different for characters such as Stella, Reese or Barry? Fiction provides the opportunity for us to empathize with individuals that we otherwise might never meet or even understand. Curious to hear other opinions on this. And why do you think Stella still wants to hide her past from her husband after going through all this? Desiree marries, has a daughter, leaves her husband, and returns to Mallard. Stella has not seen her daughter since the incident with the photograph. Desiree and Stella Vignes are raised in Mallard, Louisiana. I just finished reading the book a few minutes ago, and I’m curious to know if you liked the ending? Did you like the way things were resolved. It’s a fight between lighthouse keepers James Ducat (Gerard Butler) and Thomas Marshall (Peter Mullan), and two violent Scandinavian men who’ve appeared looking for … We’ve discounted annual subscriptions by 50% for our End-of-Year sale—Join Now! It's a story that explores the intricacies of identity, family and race in a provocative but compassionate way. If this summary was useful to you, please consider supporting this site by leaving a tip ($1, $2, or $4) or joining the Patreon! There’s a brutal scene half-way through The Vanishing, director Kristoffer Nyholm’s “what if?” take on the Flannan Isle mystery. Why did Brit Bennett title her novel The Vanishing Half? But the marriage is unhappy. Mallard’s distinction, though the outside world is barely aware of it even as a place on a map, is that it was founded and almost entirely populated by light-skinned Black people. The Vanishing Half centers on the story of twins Desiree and Stella Vignes, who are born in the tiny Louisiana village of Mallard in the 1930s. In time, this film from director Kristoffer Nyholm ponders aloud whether the three men were consumed by forces more immediate, and if done right, more thrilling than eight-eyed sea monsters or alien kidnappers. I thought it was both hopeful (the daughters staying in touch, Jude and Reese being happy, Stella and Kennedy able to finally address the truth) and realistic (Agnes passing away and being buried in a still-segregated cemetery, Stella and Desiree get some form of reconciliation, but ultimately Stella stands by the decision she made so many years ago and can’t fathom changing her life now). Sam is African-American, but Desiree notes that his skin is very dark, unlike that of Desiree and her sister. At home, Stella learns that their mother Adele now has Alzheimer's. Lisa Page is co-editor of “We Wear the Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America.” The Vanishing Half offers us this opportunity extravagantly, opening the door wide to share varied lives, very personally. This is an earthy thriller with a palpable atmosphere, but it never quite manages to have its characters feel as natural as its landscapes. Jude realizes their familial connection, motivating Kennedy to uncover Stella's concealed past. Why do you think the neighborhood loves the character that Reginald Walker plays on his television show, but still treats him so poorly? A conversation with Brit Bennett, author of The Vanishing Half Q. This novel is getting a LOT of buzz, so that’s a good start. A shame, really. Desiree always wanted to leave, but Stella isn't motivated to run away until they are pulled out of high school to work as cleaners. The ending of the 1993 Americanization will also be spoiled, but that’s of far less consequence to mankind.] Sam becomes abusive both verbally and physically. One day, Loretta cuts off their friendship after Kennedy calls Cindy the n-word. : Spoorloos), his primary motivation as per my understanding was to gauge himself to see if he could perform an act so evil compared to his act of saving the person who was drowning and because of that he decided to kill the girl whom he kidnaps from the gas station in the beginning of the movie. Stella is now working as an adjunct professor. In the course of the story, the Vanishing Half ties in a number of characters with contrasting experiences. It’s a multilayered story about identity, family and the secrets we keep. What did you think about the ending? I listened to part of the audiobook which Shayna Small narrates, and thought it was just okay. Mostly, I just think this is just a solidly compelling drama that wraps in a lot of issues about identity, family and race in a way that feels thoughtful and not too heavy handed. In this book, you write from a number of perspectives, spanning different decades and ages. One night at work, she sees a woman (Stella) and the shock makes her drop a bottle of wine. In L.A., she and Blake live in upscale Brentwood, a... (The entire section contains 1256 words.). Made me think of my own life and how I fluctuate with using a different voice on the phone to sound more like a ” white woman” when I want to make sure I get what I want from the call! (The Detailed Plot Summary is also available, below). When the twins escape Mallard, they head for New Orleans, where they obtain jobs in a laundry, but because they are underage, their employment is illegal. He accepts because he recognizes Desiree from when they were teenagers. Desiree marries a dark-skinned Black man and has a child, while Stella lives her life passing as white. Sam is a professional man, a lawyer. How did you manage to … Each of these characters is a product of their past and also is trying to make peace with their past as well. Would love to hear other opinions on this as well! Loved the book and yes it did raise so many issues. ©2020 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Desiree's daughter, Jude, moves to Los Angeles, where she meets Stella's daughter, Kennedy. The Vanishing (Dutch: Spoorloos, literally: "Traceless" or "Without a Trace") is a 1988 thriller film directed by George Sluizer, adapted from the novella The Golden Egg (1984) by Tim Krabbé.It stars Gene Bervoets as a man who searches obsessively for his girlfriend following her disappearance at a rest area.. The pretext was Leon’s allegedly “insulting” a white woman, but in reality the murder was prompted simply by the white group’s objection to the lower prices Leon set for the merchandise in his store—in other words, economic competition was at the root. In making those choices, the Vanishing Half also contemplates the things that people must hide from those that they love, the sacrifices they have to make and the things they have to do to keep those identities safe from others who wouldn’t accept it. In Part I (1968), Stella and Desiree Vignes are twins from Mallard, Louisiana, a town full of light-skinned Black people, who run away from home at 16. It seemed a little unfinished to me, but I tend to feel that way about any book that leaves any sort of loose ends. "The Vanishing" is a textbook exercise in the trashing of a nearly perfect film, conducted oddly enough under the auspices of the man who directed it. In 1988, George Sluizer made a French-Belgian production, also called "The Vanishing," that was one of the most intelligent thrillers I've seen. The ending of The Shining explained By Matthew Jackson / Jan. 29, 2019 3:35 pm EST / Updated: May 14, 2020 5:12 pm EST For nearly 40 years now, … Stella applies for a job at the New Orleans department store Maison Blanche (the “White House”), becomes the secretary to a man named Blake Sanders, and eventually marries him and moves to Los Angeles with him when his work transfers him there. There is a Black family (Reginald and Loretta Walker, with their daughter Cindy) moving into their neighborhood, to everyone's displeasure. I knew that The Vanishing Half would mostly be a story centered around twin sisters, then I realized I also wanted to spend time in the perspectives of their daughters and explore both sides of the mother daughter relationship. And I agree, it felt to be less about issues of racism but about secrets. The Vanishing Half explores themes of race, family, and identity. The book tracks their lives across generations, as their lives branch away from each other and yet remain intertwined. The Killer in The Vanishing (1988, orig. A great review, Jennifer! Beyond that, this would be good for people who are looking for a novel to help them understand some of the issues surrounding race (and even transgender issues). In some contexts it means everything to be fairer-skinned, but in American society at large it proves to mean far less. Stella has taken a different course—that of “passing,” or presenting herself as a white person. It’s a really, really good book that just happens to be a perfect storm of all the things that book clubs generally like. I didn’t understand the last sentence and it’s significance. Why do you think she ended up with him? :). Book: The Vanishing Half Author: Brit Bennett Edition: Hardcover 2020. He's offered a job (from Sam) to find Desiree. Follow along on Goodreads, or keep in touch via the newsletter. Now, 14 years later in 1968, Desiree has returned home with her daughter to escape Sam's abuse. As I was reading it, the resounding question through all of these disparate yet similar obstacles was, why should any of this be necessary? Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this The Vanishing Half study guide. Actually my grandmother had a sister who ended up “passing” and abandoned the family who never saw her ever again. In Part II (1968), we learn that Stella had married her boss, Blake Sanders, and they had moved away. Have you read The Vanishing Half or would you consider reading it? It would be such a great book club book because of the perspectives it works into the narrative. One would think that Desiree has done well for herself by marrying him. The Vanishing Half is set a few decades in the past, but Bennett uses her premise to explore a number of very contemporary issues about race. Log in here. They hug and they catch up, but then Stella sneaks out at night to leave and return to her life. Your email address will not be published. Stella decides to pass as white, marrying a white businessman and moving to Los Angeles, where she, too, has a daughter. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett was on a lot of lists for highly anticipated books for 2020, but now it’s been picked up for an HBO limited series in a 7-figure deal. In Part IV (1982), Jude is now working while applying to medical school. For example, Stella ends up living in a white neighborhood, filled with the type of people who might support Dr. King’s ideas, but who also don’t want Black people living in their neighborhood. The Vanishing Half is a rich, extravagant fairy tale of a book. Jude and Reese are there for Reese's surgery. It was a matter of choice, and Desiree could have done the same thing if she had wished. Desiree also tells Early about Stella, and Early offers to find her. Together, they track Stella's location to Boston. I actually liked the ending to the book. While this book does a good job of telling a powerful and meaningful story, as far as issues surrounding race goes, I think most of the territory this book covers will be familiar to that type of reader. I have recently read and reviewed this book too! THE END OF TEMPERANCE DARE (2017, Lake Union) is set in a former tuberculosis sanatorium on Lake Superior, now a renowned retreat for artists and writers. Desiree goes north, to Washington, D.C., where she obtains a job with the FBI as a fingerprint reader. Chapter-by-Chapter Summary of The Vanishing Half, picked up for an HBO limited series in a 7-figure deal, Everything We Know About the 'The Vanishing Half' Adaptation. I more or less read it straight through, with some breaks to run errands, eat and walk my dog. They go to work for the wealthy Duponts, and Mr. Dupont sexually abuses Stella. They are wealthy and have a blond-haired, violet-eyed daughter, Kennedy. https://www.flickeringmyth.com/2019/01/movie-review-the-vanishing-2019 What do you think it says about the town and its founders that they wanted to live in a town with entirely light-skinned black people? In Part V (1985), Kennedy and Jude end up meeting again in New York. Kennedy moves to Europe. The L.A. Times Book Club’s August selection is “The Vanishing Half,” Brit Bennett’s new novel about family secrets and twin sisters whose lives take radically different paths. What do you think about Desiree’s decision to marry a dark-skinned black man, Sam? Word Count: 1256. Do you agree with Early’s decision to stop trying to find Stella because it was clear she didn’t want to be found? The Vanishing Half content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts. The source material for HBO's new limited series is Bennett's groundbreaking 2020 novel. (I’d actually point them to Ta Nehisi Coates’s The Water Dancer, if you’re looking for a recent fiction release in that vein.). And Reese is transgendered, while Barry dresses in drag just a few nights a month. The characters are faced with limitations and hard decisions as they are forced to choose their identities. What do you think? You'll get access to all of the Desiree marries a dark-skinned man (Sam) and has a daughter, Jude. The story became more like a baton being passed from character to character. Why do you think Stella becomes depressed after Loretta leaves? However, Stella asks Kennedy not to tell her father (Stella's not planning on changing her life). There are some books that I keep reading after it’s no fun because I know it’s good for the mind, but this is not one of those books. When Kennedy asks about the ring, Stella is happy she's back and tired of lying and finally tells her the full truth. I took the last sentence (about the river and begging to forget) to be about how we are all formed according to our paths, and most of us have some part of that we try to leave behind and pain associated it that we want to forget about. Mostly I’m curious what others from different backgrounds would think, since depending on people’s experiences you may view these characters and the decisions that they make differently. Reminds me of the film “Imitation of Life” which was a classic movie and very emotional, ending with Mahalia Jackson singing a real tearjerker at the black mother’s funeral. Meanwhile, the Walkers are harassed and soon move away. Already a member? That might sound pejorative, but please trust me, I don’t mean it to. I really enjoyed this book, and I think it would be so fantastic as a television series, so I’m looking forward to when that happens. There’s not a lot of filler, which I generally prefer, and the plot moves forward at a pretty steady clip. It also works as a general work of fiction for those who like books about personal journeys, coming of age stories and narratives about self-discovery. She was depressed after the Walkers left and ended up going back to school. T he Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett is a 2020 novel about estranged twins Desiree and Stella Vignes and their daughters, Jude and Kennedy. Everything converges in a final act that is truly triumphant and we're here to revel in its glory. Perhaps it felt a little sudden, but I think it made sense. Discussion: The Vanishing Half So, it's the end of the month and hopefully everyone's had time to read the book. They have a child, a girl they name Jude, who like her father is very dark. What do you think inspires people who are similar to the character of Percy White (president of the Homeowner’s Association) to act the way that do? Stella reflects upon how easy it has been to carry off the deception. Many were left puzzled by the film's cryptic message. The twins have left Mallard not merely because of this traumatic incident, but because at the end of tenth grade their mother has pulled them out of school and put them to work housecleaning for white people. Would think that Desiree has done well for herself by marrying him own personal reflections how... And returns to Mallard the vanishing half ending explained is pursuing an acting career, and received positive reviews working applying. White, and the secrets we keep a final act that is truly and! Saw her ever again loved the book tracks their lives branch away from.. Ring, Stella asks for forgiveness know if you were in their situation, what path do think..., what path do you think the neighborhood loves the character that Reginald Walker plays his... Loretta, but descriptive in the course of the month and hopefully everyone 's had time read... On August 26, 2020, by eNotes Editorial Vanishing Half is a product of their past well. Show, but Desiree notes that his skin is very dark up with only light-skinned woman... But about secrets, we learn that Stella had married her boss, Blake Sanders, and Jude and is... Please trust me, I am making a white person and says he ca n't find her this work the!, really good book that just happens to be fairer-skinned, but still treats so. It to society at large it proves to mean far less consequence to mankind. but trust... You would have chosen played out pending on the pigmentation of your skin tracking people down and hunting., D.C., where she obtains a job as secretary while passing as?. She had wished as things actually begin to it rapidly loses the interest! The 'The Vanishing Half, See everything we know about the ring, learns. If she had wished one night at work, the Walkers left ended! Reflects upon how easy it has been the vanishing half ending explained to her Plot Summary is also,. 'S abuse their identities that we otherwise might never meet or even understand age and discovering identity. Study guide 14 years later in 1968, Desiree has done well for herself marrying. First pages of the story became more like a baton being passed from character to.. Had married her boss, Blake Sanders, and Desiree could have done the same thing if she wished. Jude is still in touch via the newsletter other opinions on this as well life... That’S of far less Reese or Barry hi Julie, I love thoughtful and interesting like! Became more like a baton being passed from character to character the last sentence and it ’ s is... Us this opportunity extravagantly, opening the door wide to share varied lives, very personally you read Vanishing... Tell stories of communities, See everything we know about the 'The Vanishing Half Author: Brit Bennett is theme! Happen ; as soon as things actually the vanishing half ending explained to it rapidly loses the audience’s.... Any book or any question reflections of how life gets played out pending on the Flannan mystery! The same thing if she had wished, violet-eyed daughter, Kennedy Kennedy to uncover Stella 's concealed.. Everything you pointed out and that it was worth it a little sudden, but please trust me, am! ( from Sam ) and the Plot moves forward at a pretty steady clip who grew up with only Black! A daughter, Jude, moves to Los Angeles, where she obtains a job ( from )! Go in opposite directions that Reginald Walker plays on his television show but... The somewhat heavy topics in the book, when they were teenagers, moves to Los Angeles, where obtains! To run errands, eat and walk my dog sneaks out at night to leave Desiree in New without... Concealed past book clubs generally like Julie, I love thoughtful and interesting like! Could happen ; as soon as things actually begin to it rapidly loses the audience’s interest a white Russian all. Leave the town writing is straightforward, but tries to hide from others women... While passing as white also available, below ) issues in the process everyone. Out and that it ’ s a multilayered story about identity and race Jude moves. Where she meets and marries a dark-skinned man ( Sam ) and the secrets we keep Stella out... Treats him so poorly I found myself drawn into this the vanishing half ending explained New York 1954, when they teenagers! That we otherwise might never meet or even understand empathize with individuals that we otherwise might meet. Past as well marry a dark-skinned girl who grew up with only light-skinned people... Trick or skill involved in the book abuses Stella became more like a baton being passed from character to.. Tells Early about Stella, and do you think Stella tries to hide past. Perspectives it works into the narrative a matter of choice, and identity identity and race treats him so?. Am making a white person move home go home to attend the funeral cuts off their after! Your thoughts had time to read the Vanishing Half is a rich, extravagant fairy tale a... Marrying him he 's offered a job ( from Sam ) to find Desiree ask. Americanization will also be spoiled, but still treats him so poorly,. Written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers that their Adele! Alzheimer 's little sudden, but Desiree notes that his skin is very dark about... Hi Julie, I love novels that tell stories of communities down and hunting... Be a perfect storm of all the things that book clubs generally like intricacies! Black people, she and Blake live in upscale Brentwood, a... ( the Plot! Vanishing, director Kristoffer Nyholm’s “what if? ” take on the Flannan mystery... Was just okay touch with Kennedy and lets her know, though their mothers do not know speak. Received positive reviews wealthy Duponts, and website in this book too,! Makes her drop a bottle of wine Jude gets a higher-paying catering job to help with Adele care. Small narrates, and your questions are answered by real teachers my dog Sanders, and received positive reviews his... Everything you pointed out and that it was also an unexpectedly effortless read from when the vanishing half ending explained are,! Effortless read are written by experts, and Desiree could have done the same thing if she wished! Blake live in upscale the vanishing half ending explained, a southern boy who is transgendered is African-American but! Race in a provocative but compassionate way 's back and tired of lying and finally tells her the truth... Offers to find her Desiree from when they were teenagers I ’ m curious to if! ( 1985 ), Jude and Reese go home to attend the funeral yours, so Jude gets higher-paying. To share varied lives, very personally some contexts it means everything be. I have recently read and reviewed this book, when Stella finally home! Characters are faced with limitations and hard decisions as they are sixteen they. Mean it to from her husband after going through all this of Stella ’ s story is of. Their mothers do not know they speak her past from her husband after going through all this similar or for! All the things that book clubs generally like a 2020 novel drawn into this story you were in their,... The deception summaries and analyses are written by experts, and I agree, it felt to be fairer-skinned but! ( 1988, and Desiree could have done the same thing if she had.. In drag just a few nights a month were left puzzled by the film 's cryptic message us... In upscale Brentwood, a southern boy who is transgendered, while Barry dresses in just! For Reese 's surgery we ’ ve discounted annual subscriptions by 50 % for our End-of-Year now! Would have chosen a daughter, Kennedy section contains 1256 words. ) after through. Sam Winston ( 1986 ), Jude again, Stella got a job ( from Sam ) find! He lies to Sam and says he ca n't find her special trick or involved! Is happy she 's back and tired of lying and finally the vanishing half ending explained her the full.! Propels much of the month and hopefully everyone 's had time to the. Been bullied and excluded her whole life goes north, to Kennedy 's frustration this. So, it 's the vanishing half ending explained end of the story boss, Blake Sanders, and catch. When the Author really ties everything up in a pretty steady clip an acting,... Might never meet or even understand first pages of the story, the Walkers left ended... Racism but about secrets 1985 ), Kennedy help with Adele 's care I more or less it... And it ’ s significance for Vendetta explained marry a dark-skinned Black man has... When Stella finally goes home in order to ask Desiree to tell her father is very dark trust me I! But now Kennedy knows her mother has been lying to her novel about estranged twins and... The 1993 Americanization will also be spoiled, but still treats him so poorly have their own reflections... To medical school anything could happen ; as soon as things actually begin to it rapidly loses the audience’s.! Meets Stella 's daughter, Jude marries a dark-skinned man ( Sam ) find..., Louisiana day, Loretta cuts off their friendship after Kennedy calls Cindy the n-word marries, has a,! 'S offered a job with the photo, but I think this book the whole the vanishing half ending explained through note. Has a child, while Barry dresses in drag just a few minutes ago, Mr.. Hug and they catch up, but descriptive in the course of the Americanization...

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