The Lie Tree, 2015 cover with the tree and a girl stood next to it, on a wooden background with an overlay on top of the image which says "The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge Book Review"
Book Review

The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge

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.
But as Faith’s untruths spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter…


A mysterious death, Victorian era, natural science, dinosaur fossils and France Hardinge. There wasn’t much chance I wouldn’t like this book to be perfectly honest. I’d been meaning to pick it up for a while and finally got round to it, devouring every page.

Frances Hardinge’s writing style is quite wordy so I find her books take me longer to read than others. However I don’t mind as its so descriptive that I love the pictures that form in my mind while I read her stuff. The Lie Tree was vividly formed in my mind as I read it. I could see Faith, her little brother, her mother, the house and the island they were living on build as I read and I loved that.

There is a lot of mystery in this book. Faith’s father is found dead and everyone thinks its suicide but Faith believes it wasn’t. The name of the book comes form a mystery plant that she finds as she’s trying to work out what happened to him and everything that happens is like a detective story uncurling. I loved the Tree and its weirdness. I was so fascinated by it and could completely understand why the characters were as obsessed with it as they were. I loved uncovering the mysteries of the people on the island and determining who was involved in what.

Faith comes across as very naive at the start of this book. At first I really didn’t like her, but very soon you can see she starts growing. Her awareness of the world becomes greater and she actually becomes quite a strong character. She knows what she wants and she’s not afraid of getting it. Her mother is very much the same too and I ended up really liking her. There were some very good female character in this book, who were choosing the battles they fought very well. Which I think a lot of women can relate to.

For the most part The Lie Tree was brilliant. There were some parts of the story that were designed to be shocking revelations but I kinda picked up on them before the revelation. But I really enjoyed it all the same and I think its a great historical YA that touches on a lot of women’s issues in a brilliant way.

The Lie Tree was published in 2015 by Macmillan Children’s Books. My copy was sent to me by the publisher prior to publication. My opinions are completely my own.

For more info, or to buy the book please visit:

Amazon | Hive | Goodreads | Frances Hardinge Website

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