The Lie Tree

The Lie Tree

Book - 2016
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Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature and Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction.
An ALA/ALSC Notable Children&;s Book and an ALA/YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Top Ten selection

A teenage girl unravels lies and magic to solve her father&;s murder in this unforgettable and thought-provoking YA historical fantasy from award-winning novelist Frances Hardinge

Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is modest and well mannered&;a proper young lady who knows her place. But inside, Faith is burning with questions and curiosity. She keeps sharp watch of her surroundings and, therefore, knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing&;like the real reason her family fed Kent to the close-knit island of Vane. And that her father&;s death was no accident.
In pursuit of revenge and justice for the father she idolizes, Faith hunts through his possessions, where she discovers a strange tree. A tree that bears fruit only when she whispers a lie to it.  The fruit, in turn, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father&;s murder. Or, it might lure the murderer directly to Faith herself, for lies&;like fires, wild and crackling&;quickly take on a life of their own.

Baker & Taylor
On an island off the south coast of Victorian England, Faith investigates the mysterious death of her father, who was involved in a scandal, and discovers a tree that feeds upon lies and gives those who eat its fruit visions of truth.

& Taylor

On an island off the south coast of Victorian England, fourteen-year-old Faith investigates the mysterious death of her father, who was involved in a scandal, and discovers a tree that feeds upon lies and gives those who eat its fruit visions of truth.
Concealing her curious nature behind the façade of a dull and respectable young lady, Faith acquires secrets gleaned from her inability to resist mysteries and resolves to avenge the murder of her scandal-fleeing scientist father. By the award-winning author of Cuckoo Song.

Publisher: New York : Amulet Books, 2016
ISBN: 9781419718953
Branch Call Number: HAR
Characteristics: pages cm


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Apr 06, 2021

This book starts a bit dreary. But it IS well worth sticking with. Story is set among Victorian naturalists. And has wonderful detail and texture

Aug 03, 2020

Teen fiction not just for teens.... Recommend for anyone interested in Victorian times/customs, women in science, mysteries, supernatural elements. Well written & captivating. Confess I did not see the twist coming...!

Jan 11, 2020

A great book for young adults and adults. I was totally absorbed in the story and found Ms Hardinge's writing willing me on to read at a quick pace. Faith is a brilliant young lady wanting to breakout of the ideal mold for young women and all women at the turn of the 18th century. She discovers info about her Dad, scientific specimens, lies and the nature of people as the plot unfolds. Thoroughly enjoyable and uplifting.

WestSlope_TheaH Aug 21, 2018

Set in Victorian England, Frances Hardinge weaves a rich tale with threads of mystery, fantasy, and historical fiction to tell the story of 14-year-old Faith Sunderly and her investigation into the death of her father. The Lie Tree was named the 2015 Costa Book of the Year, one of the UK's most prestigious and popular literary prizes, and is only the second children’s book to win (Philip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass won in 2001).

Nov 01, 2017

This novel shows that you can't let anyone suppress you from what you can do.

Check out my review of "The Lie Tree" on my blog at:

DBRL_ANNEG Oct 13, 2017

A fantastic YA novel that will also appeal to adults. The protagonist, Faith, is smart and witty. She is not afraid to get her hands dirty and loves to explore. She can read multiple languages and has a curiosity that is only satisfied through learning new things. Faith lives during the Victorian era, though, and as a girl at this time, she is often held back. But that doesn't stop her from trying to learn as much as she can on her own, leading to quite an independent streak on her part.

Her father, a naturalist who was renowned for his knowledge of the prehistoric world, has brought her family to a remote island so that he can study recently discovered skeletal remains. Faith knows that something else is going on--there are rumblings about her cracks in her father's scientific reputation. So when he mysteriously dies (a presumed suicide), Faith sees evidence to the contrary and sets out to find the truth.

This story has an element of fantasy--it turns out her father has made a miraculous discovery in a tree that can reveal the truth, after it is fed a lie. The tree is an important aspect of the story, but this reader (who does not delve into much fantasy) was thrilled to see how much the story remained grounded in reality. In many ways this book is more of a Gothic, Victorian mystery than a fantasy. The tree has its role, but it didn't overwhelm the story.

I was sorry to see the story end. I actually kind of hope the author finds a way to revisit Faith in the future. She was a delight to spend time with and, if anything, has inspired me to look at more of Frances Hardinge's books.

Sep 04, 2017

Frances Hardinge has done a brilliant job. A classic murder mystery involved with archaelogical, botanical and scientific studies and the thefts of research material is pursued to its denouement through the endeavours of Faith, a fourteen-year old girl, not prepared to accept the expectations of her place as a young woman in Victorian society ,regardless of her intelligence.Nothing is as it seems.The fantastical gothic elements add to the atmosphere. The book gives a good indication of the darker side of Victorian culture.. This edition has beautiful illustrations throughout by Chris Riddell.

Aug 08, 2017

Couldn't put it down! Interesting mystery. A realistic look at how girls and women were treated and what was expected of them in Victorian times.

Jul 19, 2017

A nice little mystery! I enjoyed it.

Apr 23, 2017

Great fantasy with a young female protagonist is set in Victorian England when fossils are being discovered. Faith chafes at the life she is expected to lead—that of playing second fiddle to males. Her father and mother seem to look at her as a babysitter for her younger brother, and yet her mind is sharp. She wants to be a scientist. When her father, a minister who is looked at as an expert in fossils, is sent to a remote island because some of his findings are hoaxes, Faith discovers lots more to the story including a tree that grows stronger when told lies. How she survives others looking for this same tree and in the process, finds out the best lies allow for those hearing the lie to embellish the facts themselves, makes for gripping reading.

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mvkramer May 28, 2016

Frightening or Intense Scenes: There's a scene in which Faith's father rejects her dreams of being a scholar that is just crushing.

mvkramer May 28, 2016

Violence: Murder and attempted murder. One incident of family violence. A non-graphic scene of a "ratting" fight between 14 rats and a dog.


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Mar 11, 2017

“All the while the air softly hummed with murmured lies.

There were kind lies. You still look beautiful. I love you. I forgive you.

There were frightened lies. Someone else just have taken it Of course I am Anglican. I never saw that baby before.

There were predatory lies. Buy this tonic if you want your child to recover. I will look after you. Your secret is safe with me.

Half-lies, and the tense little silences where a truth should have been. Lies like knives, lies like poultices. The tiger’s stripe, and the fawn’s dusky dapple. And everywhere, everywhere, the lies that people told themselves. Dreams like cut flowers, with no nourishing root. Will-o’-the-wisp lights to make them less alone in the dark. Hollow resolutions and empty excuses.” -- pg. 347

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