Author(s): Frances Hardinge
The Lie Tree is a wonderfully evocative and atmospheric novel by award-winning author Frances Hardinge.
Faith's father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree.
The tree only grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered.
The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father's murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community.
But as her tales spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter...
Faith and her family have shipped out from England to a remote island to escape scandal. On arriving at the island, Faith discovers that her beloved father, a respected minister with an interest in the sciences (evolution, creation and anthropology), has laid himself bare for ridicule. Not long after Faith takes a mysterious trip with her distracted father to hide a strange plant, he is found dead. Faith believes he has been murdered and that somehow this tied to the plant. As she delves into his papers and journals she discovers the plant is a ‘lie tree’ that supposedly flourishes and bears a fruit when fed a lie. The fruits when eaten will give the recipient the truth. Faith sets out to discover who is behind her father's death and to understand the obsessive behaviour of her father by using the strange properties of this malign plant to seek the truth. Intriguing..... - Stella
Winner of The Costa Book of the Year 2015
'The Lie Tree is brilliant: dark, thrilling, utterly original. Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now.' -- Patrick Ness
'It is part horror story, part detective story and part historical novel. The tone throughout is extremely accurate, not only is it cleverly the voice of a 14-year-old girl ... but it is also the voice of a precociously intelligent girl within what is a very male-dominated society.' --chair of Costa judges, the former bookseller James Heneage.
"A hugely talented writer of tireless invention and prose" --Guardian
"A sinuously beguiling tale of faith, science and murder" --Sunday Times News Review
"This historical fantasy, written with Hardinge's rare precision and originality of language, illuminates the Victorian age and resonates for ours." --Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times Children's Book of the Year
"Throwing evolution, feminism and revenge tragedy together, The Lie Tree is a thrilling, gleamingly involving novel that anyone might enjoy, with gorgeous, lush writing matched by a vividly hooking plot." --Philip Womack, The Literary Review
Frances Hardinge spent a large part of her childhood in a huge old house that inspired her to write strange stories from an early age. She read English at Oxford University, then got a job at a software company. However, a few years later a persistent friend finally managed to bully Frances into sending a few chapters of Fly by Night, her first children's novel, to a publisher. Macmillan made her an immediate offer. The book went on to publish to huge critical acclaim and win the Branford Boase First Novel Award. The Lie Tree is Frances's seventh novel.