SO GOOD. Uh I mean The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge is a deliciously dark novel. Fourteen year old Faith Sunderly has a thirst for science and secrets that the rigid confines of her class cannot suppress. “All knowledge – any knowledge – called to Faith, and there was a delicious, poisonous pleasure in stealing it unseen.” And so when the family expectantly departs Kent for a little know island, Faith is determined to know why her renowned scientific father is now a being called a fraud. But this thirst for knowledge takes on a whole new leave when Faith discovers her father’s body. Did he kill himself due to the disgrace? Or was he murdered because his research uncovered a truth that 19th century England was just not ready to accept?
And so she discovers her disgraced father’s journals, filled with tales of a strange tree which, when told a lie, will uncover a truth: the greater the lie, the greater the truth revealed to the liar. Can Faith use this tree to uncover the truth?
Did I mention SOOO GOOD??? I could not put this book down. While there is a ‘slow’ start it is definitely not boring. Hardinge grabs hold of the reader in chapter one and never lets them go. I never had a clue where this book was going and I loved every minute of it. The characters are rich and well developed. The plot is intricate without being convoluted. I think both adults and teens will enjoy this book. I extremely highly recommend this book and I don’t do that often.
I’ve never read any of Hardinge’s work before this but I am an instant fan. Adding more of her books to the “pile”.