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Dive deeper into The Vanishing Half book club questions and explore its complex themes and unforgettable characters. As one of the most popular novels in recent times and an excellent book club pick, Brit Bennett’s award-winning masterpiece touches on racial identity, family bonds, and the choices that shape generations.

You’ll foster meaningful discussion and get free printable book club questions to prepare for your in-person book club. Get started below.

The Vanishing Half.

The Vanishing Half Book Club Questions

Do you believe Stella “vanished” from her true identity as the title suggests? Why or why not?

Discuss Mallard as a major setting in this novel. What do you make of its name and why it was formed by its citizens, as well as why it ceased to exist by the end of the novel?

How were the other settings in The Vanishing Half (i.e., New Orleans, California, New York, Minneapolis) different from Mallard?

Stella and Desiree reacted differently to the post-traumatic stress of the death of their father. How do you think you and your family may have reacted?

Discuss “running away” as a theme in The Vanishing Half, which several characters did: Desiree, Stella, Kennedy, Jude, Reese.

Discuss “acting” as a theme in The Vanishing Half. For example, do you believe Kennedy was influenced by her mother’s history to become an actress? Was Reese acting? What about Barry? What parts of your life feel like acting?

Why do you believe Bennett included Reese, a transgendered character, as such a major role in this book?

Discuss Stella’s relations with Loretta and the role of Loretta’s family in The Vanishing Half.

Do you think Early was capable of finding Stella?

Discuss “exposure” as a theme in The Vanishing Half. For example, both Stella and Reese often fear exposure, and Reese is a photographer exposing the film to the light. What do you make of this?

Discuss “education” as a theme in The Vanishing Half — both the characters’ access to it and their choices surrounding it.

Both twin sisters have daughters. Describe their daughters’ similarities and differences, and what influenced each of their characters.

Why do you think Jude continues to seek out Kennedy over decades of time?

Discuss the character of Adele and her role in the lives of the other characters. What was her legacy?

What role does identity play in the romantic relationships in The Vanishing Half?

Which characters and relationships do you believe were happy?

Do you believe Stella will ever reveal her identity to her husband? If so, how will he react?

What do you think is next for these characters, especially Desiree, as she sets forth on a new journey?

Is identity intrinsic, created, or a bit of both?

Which characters do you believe were happy in their own skin at the end of the novel?

Discuss your favorite twins or sisters in pop culture.

Are you happy in your skin? Identify one thing about your background that makes you feel proud and one way you can improve your self-identity.

Printable Discussion Questions

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Why The Vanishing Half Is A Good Book Club Book

My Review: ★★★★★ — my best book of the year 2020 and one of the best books of the 21st century (Full Review of The Vanishing Half)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the message of The Vanishing Half?

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett examines identity and race through the divergent paths of the Vignes twins and others grappling with their true selves. It highlights the struggle between societal expectations and personal identity, underscoring the quest for acceptance and self-discovery amidst complex family and societal dynamics.

What surgery did Reese have in The Vanishing Half?

In The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Reese is a transgender man who undergoes gender-affirming surgery.

Is Reese in The Vanishing Half a girl?

In The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Reese is a transgender man, which means he was assigned female at birth but identifies and lives as a man.

What does the title The Vanishing Half mean?

The title of The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet symbolizes the divergence of the lives of light-skinned Black twin sisters, Desiree and Stella, who start their journey together but end up following distinctly different paths. While Desiree remains in Mallard, Louisiana, embracing a conventional lifestyle, Stella relocates to California and lives her life identifying as white.


These The Vanishing Half book club questions offer a treasure trove of complex themes like race and intricate character dynamics related to identity for thoughtful discussion. They will enhance your understanding and appreciation of Brit Bennett’s impeccable storytelling. Whether you’re leading a group discussion or reflecting solo, delving deeper into this novel promises rich insights.

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Lastly, keep the conversation going! Share your thoughts on The Vanishing Half or any remaining questions you have in the comments below.

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