Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2015
The Lie Tree is a wonderfully evocative and atmospheric story by Frances Hardinge, award-winning author of Cuckoo Song and Fly by Night.
Faith's father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree grows healthy and bears fruit only if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered.
The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father's murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as her tales spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter....
©2016 Frances Hardinge (P)2016 Macmillan Digital Audio
Will read anything within reason.
You know that feeling you get when you click on a link on the internet and then you get the dreaded circle of death going interminably round and round and round …… Well this is the feeling I got when listening to this story. I had a strong sense that there was a good idea amongst all the ponderous detail but getting to it felt like trying to pluck a prawn from a lobster shell. Faith is a young repressed Victorian woman investigating the death of her secretive clergyman/naturalist father. Was it murder or was it suicide? To be honest I didn’t really care. He was such a monumentally horrible man, that if I were Faith I would find it hard to wipe the grin off my face after hearing of his demise.
For the most part Emilia Fox read this ludicrous tale with reasonable enthusiasm, but why on earth did she give little Howard such a horrible ickle cutesy wootsy voice? My teeth still hurt thinking about it and I will fastidiously avoid books containing children in the immediate future.
Excellent from start to finish, a very well written story brilliantly read by Emilia Fox. This was the first Frances Hardinge book I have listened to, but now I'm definitely a fan and have already downloaded a couple of her other books to my kindle. A good read for any age.
I'd recommend this novel to anyone who likes a page-turning thriller with more than a touch of the supernatural! Terrific young heroine whose desire to follow her adored father into fossil hunting and natural science lead her through an incredible adventure. Loads of twists and turns - I'd never have guessed the ending - and all set in a slightly creepy very Victorian background.
The set is way too long, it'sabout a hundred pages before anything happens to really drive the story. Unfortunately the characters aren't likable enough to justify this. Faith is a plucky ambitious young girl (as are all Hardinges heroines) but lacks her own identity, try Mosca Mye in Fly by night or Neverfell in A face like glass for two great characters.
I'm afraid I gave up on the audio halfway through and having read the last couple of chapters of the book im glad I did. I'm sorry as I love all of Frances Hardinges other books, they are literary and character driven, I just felt that this one seemed to want to describe everything in every detail,
I seem to be in a minority, and I would like to praise the author for incorporating big ideas into her books, in fact they are all about ideas, this one Evolution, Fly by Night religious (and other) tyranny, A face like glass, Identity, I think.
No i'll read all of Ms Hardinges books, they all have their own life.
Yes and I cannot fault the performance she is an excellent narrator.
A two or three part drama would serve the story better than a movie I think.
I used to only write positive reviews before, but having bought a few duds that I wish I had been warned about I think an honest review is best good or bad. I don't think good books should be criticised while rubbish gets a free pass out of politeness.
Not saying that this book is bad it's just not for me. If others love it that's good.
Since reading Rothfuss, listening to lesser books feels like a series of unsuccessful blind dates after my one true love who got away.
Most: The idea of a tree that feeds on lies and reveals truth is quite interesting but I had to listen through something like 10 hours of boring dross before our protagonist has anything to do with the lie tree at all.
Least: Since the name of the wind, I've felt starved for a scintillating story and beautiful writing. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the lie tree is neither of these things. There were some similes I found so irritating that I almost sent it back, E.G. something something 'unfolded like flowers... or knives'..... neither of these things unfold. Also, I feel that 'apocalyptic thoroughness' when applied to a tough conversation with one's dad is ham-fisted to say the least.
I really don't get why it won an award, but then I guess the award was from Costa Coffee. Perhaps this is the lie and there's a tree somewhere growing a nice juicy grape.
The writing just leaves me with questions. Beyond one fond childhood memory of fossil hunting on the beach, why does this girl love her father so much? The two things she's quite certain of are that she's clever and she likes fossils, so why doesn't she hate her father who believes she's just a burdensome uneducated plonker because she's a girl?
Perhaps I'd have felt quite differently about this book had the narrator not sounded like she was performing the novel to a group of frightened children around a campfire in the middle of the night on Halloween.
No. Please no.
it took 4 or 5 attempted starts for this book to catch my attention. but persevere i did, and what a story! there are triangles within triangles, juxtapositions, unexpected angles, and all painted in grey and deep blue and black. its a bit like a Hitchcock film turned into literature. i withheld 1 star because it was so hard to get started otherwise it would be a 5star book
Loved it. Long journeys required. Atmospheric, tense, great story, interesting historical aspect. a good listen.
bravo! really gripping and unpredictable. There should be awards for the performer, Emilia brought the book to life in a very believable way. You will not be disappointed.
"Loved this, good long story and intriguing!"
Great from start to finish - compelling opening, substantial middle and satisfying conclusion. Did not enjoy the wise man voice, totally unnecessary to do an impersonation like that. Loved the story. Really enjoyed the level of detail.
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