Wordy Wednesday: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Did you think I forgot about Wordy Wednesday? Nah, life is just kicking my butt and I’m running behind. I’m sleep-deprived, covered in cat fur, and it’s like a hundred degrees outside.
On another note, what have you been reading lately? Inquiring bloggers want to know. 😉 I would love to put together a compilation of reader recommendations for the summer. Share about a book you’re currently reading or recommend one of your favorites using the site’s contact form. Alternatively, if you’d like to attach a reading selfie with your book, email your recs to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can share as many titles as you’d like! Don’t be shy.
Before we dive into Wordy Wednesday, I have summer readalong housekeeping. I’m excited to share the On Eyre reading schedule was posted by the Hot & Bothered podcast team this week on social media (Instagram: @therompod).
You can see that the reading schedule lasts through November—so it will be a summer AND fall readalong. I had no idea it would be so long, but the book is 500 pages, so I guess it makes sense. Get yourself a copy of the book and read chapter 1 by Friday July 2nd, the date the first episode drops. And get excited! I’m really looking forward to this, and I hope you are too.
Now, the real reason you’re here.
Today’s words come from the novel The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. I have enjoyed reading this book so much, especially after dealing with a few book-duds. Bennett is such a stellar writer, even better here than in her first novel The Mothers, which is also a great read.
The Vanishing Half received a lot of hype, which made me wary at first. As far as I can tell, the hype is deserved. I knew it would be about a pair of Black twins who grew up and went separate ways when one decides to live a life passing for white. What I didn’t expect is for each of the twin’s daughters to also be characters. A story that I thought was about sisters and race was revealed to also be about mothers and daughters, leaving home and coming back, and so much more.
Below is the word I chose from The Vanishing Half. I’ve given the sentence in which I found it, its Oxford definition, additional context, and a sentence of my own using the word.
“‘Lighter even,’ she said, thinking about Mrs. Fontenot, who’d always boasted that her children were the color of clabber” (19).
Noun: milk that has naturally clotted on souring.
From what I can tell by perusing the Google machine, clabber is kind of like yogurt. It’s milk that is fermented by naturally-occurring bacteria that produce lactic acid, which thickens and sours the milk. The process is controlled with temperature and humidity so that the milk doesn’t spoil in the process. Yogurt, in contrast, comes from milk that is first pasteurized to kill its bacteria, and then lactobacilli is introduced to ferment the milk into yogurt.
I would be curious to try clabber if I weren’t sensitive to dairy; I wonder how sour it is compared to coconut yogurt—now that has some serious funk.