''The Lie Tree'' (2015) By: Frances Hardinge Book report by Lidia Ferenc-Kaivo
''It was not enough. All knowledge- any knowledge - called to Faith, and there was a delicious, poisonous pleasure in stealing it unseen.''
I recommend The Lie Tree to anyone who enjoys a murder mystery with a bit of a twist. You will not want to place this book down once you dive into it - The Lie Tree is thrilling and enchanting at the same time. You will not regret reading this book. I hope you enjoy!
Faith Sunderly is a 14 year old girl whose family is trying to start a new life on the island of Vane because her father, who is a fossil expert, has been accused of being an intellectual fraud. And so, they are fleeing England, their home, as there has been a scandal. Luckily, nobody knows about the accusations (yet) but the news eventually reaches the Sunderly family’s new home and soon enough they are disliked by most of the citizens there. Then things turn to worse - Faith's father is found dead in mysterious circumstances... Faith regretted not having a good connection with her father but he was always very quiet and only spoke when necessary so it was hard to get to know him better. When her father dies she is very heartbroken because he was just starting to trust her with his work. Unlike Faiths father, her mother, Myrtle, is a very ladie-ish and chatty person. She wanted Faith to be more like her and sadly did not approve of Faith’s dreams to become a female scientist, therefore they were distant. Faith’s younger brother, Howard, depends on his sister very much as their mother does not have time for him. Howard does not understand all the strange things going on around him as he is only six years old so he needs Faith to comfort him and keep him company. The other characters in the book are equally interesting, from strong housewives to lurking murderers, but I will leave them for you to discover. People believe that Faiths’ father killed himself, but she has a gut feeling that this is not true because she was with him just before the tragic night. And so, Faith Sunderly starts investigating. She takes all her father’s old letters and journals to try to find out more about his secretive life. She soon uncovers the fact that he possesses an old and valuable plant – a mysterious tree, that could tell a truth if fed a lie. Will she discover the big truth about the tree and the murder!?
About the author Frances Hardinge was born in Brighton, England in 1973 and she always dreamed of being a writer. She studied English at Somerville College, University of Oxford and she has won many awards for her books. The Lie Tree won the Costa Book Award and her first ever book Fly By Night won the Branford Boase Reward. She usually writes in 3rd person, like in The Lie Tree. Also, Hardinge likes to wear black hats and old fashioned clothes just like the characters in her books. She has written over 20 books.
My opinion about the book
I really enjoyed reading this book because it showed me that even 160 years ago (the book was set in the 1860s) there were girls like Faith, who never gave up trying to fulfil their dreams. Faith is very inspiring because under the shield of frilly dresses and pink ribbons, she is smart, clever and witty. The book has also shown me that many girls and women around the world have as much talent and are just as clever as men but often never show it or don’t get the respect they deserve. Luckily Faith proved everyone wrong and the truth about her father’s death is discovered. Despite the barriers, her dream of becoming a female scientist still comes true. I loved reading this book because it was intriguing and such a page turner. It is definitely worth your time whatever gender you are because The Lie Tree shows how the society can control people but one can break free just like Faith did!