Are you eager to dive deeper into The Vanishing Half book club questions to explore its complex themes and unforgettable characters? As one of the most popular novels in recent times and an excellent book club selection, Brit Bennett’s award-winning masterpiece touches on racial identity, family bonds, and the choices that shape generations.
Whether you’re running a book club or simply craving a deeper connection to the narrative, these questions aim to spark enlightening discussions. Let’s explore one of my favorite books together! Plus, get a printable PDF to take with you.
- Debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list
- Book of the Month Club’s Book of the Year (2020)
- One of Barack Obama’s favorite books of the year
- Good Morning America Book Club pick
- Named a best book of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, People, Time Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Glamour
- 2021 Women’s Prize Finalist
Book Club Discussion Questions for The Vanishing Half
I consider the mark of a truly thoughtful book to be one that compels me to write a series of my own discussion questions. And The Vanishing Half inspired me to write all of these book club questions for you:
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.
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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.
For more like this, check out my full summary and review of The Vanishing Half.
Lastly, keep the conversation going! Share your thoughts on The Vanishing Half or any remaining questions you may have in the comments below.
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