The Lie Tree

The Lie Tree

Book - 2016
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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.
Publisher: New York : Amulet Books, 2016.
ISBN: 9781419718953
Characteristics: 377 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

After her naturalist father relocates their family and suddenly turns up dead, Faith's investigation uncovers hidden motivations, sinister figures and a mysterious plant that might just hold the key to her father's secrets.

October 2017

October 2017

From the critics

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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.

kirstd31 Mar 16, 2017

The concept of the story was interesting. But about halfway through I was bored.

Mar 11, 2017

Overall this was a pretty good book. It was well written, with some exceptionally beautiful passages, a creative idea, natural dialogue, and complex characters. The only problem I had with it, though, was that it was adamantly pro-macroevolution. I would have preferred it if it was not, but even so, I do admit that it is a well-written book and would still recommend it, with a grain of salt.

abruzzo79 Feb 22, 2017

Exciting historical novel featuring the male natural scientists collecting "monstrosities and oddity" and the girl who wants to manipulate them and discover their secrets.

JCLChrisK Dec 24, 2016

Hardinge has crafted a wonderfully complex tale with a wonderfully complex heroine. A rationalist mystery with just enough supernatural to give it an even creepier edge. Told with beautiful, eloquent language and delightfully quotable insights.

Cynthia_N Oct 17, 2016

Good story! I do not want a lie tree!

Jul 12, 2016

Really good mystery that you don't want to put down! So many suspicious characters!

Jun 28, 2016

It's a dark, thrilling story that I feel is good for a teen/young audience but doesn't really hold up as an adult mystery book. For the most part, I really enjoyed it; Faith's personality, and her circumstances were dark and interesting to read, but the focus of the story: The Lie tree, that is where I feel the author was the weakest, and where it mattered the most. For all the talk of science and religion, we didn't find out any substantial information regarding the existence of such a tree and what it mean with regards to God, and the events that took place to bring about mankind.

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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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