Title: The Lie Tree
Author: Frances Harding
Publication: April 19, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre: Teens, Mystery and Thriller
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
In this deliciously creepy novel by the author of the critically acclaimed Cuckoo Song, the fruit of a magical tree uncovers dangerous truths
Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy—a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered.
In pursuit of justice and revenge, Faith hunts through her father’s possessions and discovers a strange tree. The tree only bears fruit when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder—or it may lure the murderer directly to Faith herself.
**A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.**
Normally when I jump in to reading a book I am prepared. “The Lie Tree” by Frances Hardinge was not one I was prepared for. I had read the synopsis and saw it was published by a great publisher in their children’s division. So I had a level of expectation for a children’s book. I was definitely mistaken there, but not sadly. “The Lie Tree” is probably one of the most intriguing and unique books I have come across this year. A truly one-of-a-kind story I have not heard of and not seen anything even similar in all my years of loving books.
“The Lie Tree” follows Faith, a young girl coming of age. She is at the bring between being a child and being considered one of the adults in a time many of us no longer remember. Dowry’s, carriages, and women who have a high level of expectation to handle the house and not be heard. Faith does a great job of not being heard. She is this meek, quiet character who you love to watch sneak around. The entire book I was just wondering what else she might hear or sneak up on with nobody noticing. She was so good at being quiet that she ends up getting herself into a bit of trouble… trouble that could potentially save her family in the end.
Frances Hardinge has such a visual writing style and I can’t help but praise her enough for this, so I apologize if I mention it more than once. The visual effect she adds to her writing makes you feel like you are falling into an image. I could close my eyes and picture the things she writes about as if it was on a screen in front of me or if I was standing in a room. Her descriptive words were anything but boring, letting our imaginations run wild with her. She created such an intricately designed scene for this story that I could picture it being made into a movie and the creators having to work extra hard to make it look like she imagined. My hat is off to Hardinge for that. You beat the visual side of entertainment with the use of your words. That is hard to do.
So many characters made up “The Lie Tree” and I can only imagine the layers we could peel back if each had their own book. We got just enough to satiate our pallets, yet I would sit and read individual backstories on every one if I could. The entire story has a bit of everyone, but centers on us watching as Faith learns to trust herself and embrace her feelings and thoughts. We watch her grow from the edge of childhood and adulthood to being a growing woman. She makes that transition in this story, in my opinion. It was beautiful to watch. Beautiful and suspenseful with a murdered on the loose, of course! The good and the bad all intertwined together to create a maze of lies, deceit, heartache, anger, and angst. This novel was a boiling pot of emotion that bubbled until the very end. I want to say there was something I disliked about it, but I cannot think of a thing.
If you are in the mood for a fantastic book, pick up a copy of “The Lie Tree” by Frances Hardinge. While it may be labeled Teen, I am definitely not one and I truly enjoyed it. This is one for just about anyone. Especially if you love a good mystery! Bet you won’t guess who the killer is…. Challenge accepted? Well deserved five out of five stars for Hardinge! Great job! Cannot wait for the next one!
I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of “The Lie Tree” by Frances Harding and come to your own consensus. It is available on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and you can find it in a bookstore near you. Also make sure to add it to your To Read list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are done! You can learn more about author Frances Hardinge and her work at her website FrancesHardinge.com. All of her social media sites are linked at the bottom! Until next time…