The Lie Tree
Author: Frances Hardinge
Publication Date: May 7th 2015
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~
The leaves were cold and slightly clammy. There was no mistaking them. She had seen their likeness painstakingly sketched in her father's journal. This was his greatest secret, his treasure and his undoing. The Tree of Lies. Now it was hers, and the journey he had never finished stretched out before her.
When Faith's father is found dead under mysterious circumstances, she is determined to untangle the truth from the lies. Searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. A tree that feeds off whispered lies and bears fruit that reveals hidden secrets. The bigger the lie, and the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered.
But as Faith's untruths spread like wildfire across her small island community, she discovers that sometimes a single lie is more potent than any truth.
A beguiling tale of mystery and intrigue from the award-winning author of Fly By Night and Cuckoo Song
There are two words to describe The Lie Tree. Masterfully and Done. I don't say that lightly. What I loved about Cuckoo Song was how vivid the writing was, and how it was skilfully created, and even though the plot and pacing was slow, it's pay's off when subtle connections are made. The Lie Tree is no exception. It is completely different than Cuckoo Song, but at its core, the writing, the descriptions, the lyrical feel and flow, is exactly the same and it's brilliant.
Lies. The whole idea of The Lie Tree is about lies, and it's pretty fascinating. A lemon type tree, that can't be out in the light, needs to be fed lies to grow, and it's fruits tell you truths, but the lies can't be just little lies or secrets. You have to make people believe your lie. Lies are deeply rooted into the story, and not just because of the Lie Tree. It shows you how lies get out of control and spreads like wildfire, how lies can take on a life of its own and forms into different lies. The Lie Tree felt like a metaphor, with its message to tell.
There's a mystery in The Lie Tree too, and you know how much I love mysteries, right? When Faith's father dies, and is basically ruled as a suicide, Faith doesn't believe it. So she digs and digs, through his belongings, to the secrets hidden in letters, and she lies and lies to get to the truth. It's funny because I never guessed the mystery at all, and it was all there, I should have guessed it. Let's just say, even though the first half was slow, there's a reason for it, and there's the pay-off.
I...didn't like the characters much, the Faith in the beginning was stunted and meek, but she was playing the role of who she should be-not who she was. I liked Faith more as she went along, she got stronger and feisty and sticks up for herself in a time where women standing up for themselves doesn't happen. Her little brother, Howard, was whiny and needy, but he's a kid, so of course he is, and he adores Faith, and he's pretty cute when he wants to be. Her father, her mother, most of the supporting characters...not so much. One word to describe all of them, horrible. Especially the society in Vane, before Faith and her family arrived, there were rumours following them, and the way society treated them because of those rumours, and then with everything that follows with Faith's father, their reputation is ruined.