The Lie Tree Frances Hardinge

cover61090-mediumPub: Pan Macmillan

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 the tree bears more and more fruit, she discovers something terrifying – that her lies were closer to the truth than she could ever have imagined . . .

The Lie Tree is plugged as a children’s book but don’t let that put you off, the language and style of writing is enough to satisfy the adult palette.

Faith is a clever girl, she knows this but being a girl is not allowed to say it. She loves her father and wants to learn about his work and be involved in what he does. (He is a naturalist)

Her father asks her to help him and to keep what they do a secret, then he is found dead.

There are secrets in the Sunderly house, secrets Faith wants to know about.

The Lie Tree is a little gem of a story full of mystery and foreboding, even magical. It is an intelligent read and quite delightful.

4*/5

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