For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Her interactions with other people, however, leave her open to suspicion.
Weaving together multiple generations, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is both a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the history of passing. The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores the multiple reasons and realms in which people feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.