The Lie Tree – Book Review

“Faith had always told herself that she was not like other ladies. But neither, it seemed, were other ladies.” ― Frances Hardinge, The Lie Tree


Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy – a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered.

In pursuit of justice and revenge, Faith hunts through her father’s possessions and discovers a strange tree. The tree bears fruit only when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder – or it may lure the murderer directly to Faith herself.


How long have I been trying to read The Lie Tree now? Like a year?

I know one thing. It’s been on my TBR many, many times since the start of this blog and finally, finally, you guys are getting a review.

Let me start off by saying, there really wasn’t anything bad about The Lie Tree. It’s not often that I can actually say that about a book and The Lie Tree receives that honor today.

Set in 1865, Frances Hardinge does an amazing job of showing the issues women face. I don’t mean she just showed readers that women were more property than people. I mean that Hardinge mapped out the ways women moved through social circles in an attempt to do the things they wanted with their lives. She mapped out the “unimportance” of the female mind at this time and the obvious attempts men made to diminish women’s successes.

The story is amazing, but Hardinge creates more than a story. She creates commentary on women’s rights.

I liked to think of The Lie Tree as Pretty Little Liars in some ways as you literally expect everyone to be the one doing wrong. There was a point where I literally just decided that Faith, our main character, was our person of interest.

The hardest part for me with The Lie Tree was that it took about 130 pages for the story to really get going. Because Hardinge wanted a fully fleshed 1865 society she had to set the scene and social standing of all of the characters before things could really get going. Once the story started moving I didn’t want to put the book down.

Overall I gave The Lie Tree 4/5 stars simply because of how long it took me to get into the meat of the book.

What do you think? Is this a book you’ve thought about reading? Or have you already read it? Let me know in the comments!

7 thoughts on “The Lie Tree – Book Review

  1. I hadn’t expected to love this book, but I really did. I loved that Faith was so angry! She’s not a particularly nice or pleasant person, but her motivations make sense and you root for her regardless.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely loved this book when I first read it last year. It ended up being so much darker than what I was first expecting, which I loved. I also really appreciated how it basically a social commentary on women’s issues during that time. So good!

    Liked by 1 person

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