When I requested The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge from the library, I meant to request the illustrated version. So when the regular novel came in, I almost brought it back without reading it. However, I decided to give it a shot anyway and I am so glad that I did! I really enjoyed this book. Though I still cannot wait to check out the illustrated edition!
My Thoughts on The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
The Lie Tree is a book set in Victorian-era England, where girls are expected to sit on the sidelines watching the action. But the main character, a young girl named Faith, wants nothing more but to get in the game. The natural science game, that is.
When her family suddenly moves away from their home and to an island, Faith is determined to figure out why. Through eavesdropping and snooping, she learns that her father is in the middle of a sticky web of lies. And at the heart of this web is the Lie Tree.
I thought the storyline of this book was very interesting! The beginning was a bit slow, but once the action picks up, it hooked me in and didn’t let me go. This was a book that I stayed up far too late reading because I just had to know what happened. I loved the mystery and how we slowly watched the main character figure things out. The ending was wicked intense! I was not expecting it to take a number of turns that it did, and I loved it!
I adored the main character. The beginning was a bit hard to read because all she wanted was some attention from her father, love from her mother, and respect from the island gentlemen. But her father just wouldn’t give her the time of day, the mother wasn’t interested in her, and the gentlemen of the island didn’t approve of her being smart or “clever” as she often called it. I loved that she didn’t let any of this get her down; that she stuck to her gut and took control of the situation. I also really appreciated that she never gave up. She wanted answers, and she was determined to get them no matter what.
My Favorite Passages from The Lie Tree
She had always believed deep down that science would not judge her, even if people did.
Back in the trophy room the gentlemen would be taking the leash off their conversation. Likewise, here in the drawing room, each lady quietly relaxed and became more real, expanding into the space left by the men. Without visibly changing, they unfolded, like flowers, or knives.
Most of the time his easy going nature acted as a sort of padding and offense simply bounced off. Went a barb did penetrate, however, it remained there forever.
Quiet people often have a weather sense that loud people lack. They feel the wind-changes of conversations, and shiver in the chill of unspoken resentments.
Her insides seem to have been scraped out. All those feelings and thoughts she had bottled up for years had burst free… and been crushed with apocalyptic thoroughness.
What had she just done? She had obediently opened a door and stepped through into blackness, without even knowing if there was a floor on the other side.
Faith was learning something interesting about ghosts. They were like snowballs- once you set them rolling their legend grew without your help.
A lie was like a fire, Faith was discovering. At first it needed to me nurses and fed, but carefully and gently. A slight breath would fan the newborn flames, but too vigorous a huff would blow it out. Some lies took hold and spread, crackling with excitement, and no longer needed to be fed. But then these were no longer your lies. They had a life and shape of their own, and there was no controlling them.
Everything was getting better, inch by inch, so slowly that she could not see it, but knowing it gave her strength.
My Final Thoughts on The Lie Tree
Overall, I thought this was a great read. I have seen some hesitation because it is marked as a children’s book. But I never once felt that I was reading a children’s book. I would put this one in the same vein as The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman; the main character is a child, but the storyline is intense and spooky. I would highly recommend giving this a shot!
Snag a copy through Bookshop to help support local indie bookshops:
Thanks for reading!
Have you picked up this book yet? If so, what did you think?