STARRED REVIEW
May 2016

Bearer of dangerous fruit

By Frances Hardinge
Review by

It’s the middle of the 19th century. Darwin’s On the Origin of Species has shaken up the scientific world, new photographic technology has led to creepy death photography, and fossil hunting is all the rage. Faith Sunderly and her family have just moved to the British island of Vale so that her father, the disgraced scientist Reverend Sunderly, can participate in a local dig.

Share this Article:

BookPage Teen Top Pick, May 2016

It’s the middle of the 19th century. Darwin’s On the Origin of Species has shaken up the scientific world, new photographic technology has led to creepy death photography, and fossil hunting is all the rage. Faith Sunderly and her family have just moved to the British island of Vale so that her father, the disgraced scientist Reverend Sunderly, can participate in a local dig. When her father is found dead after a mysterious nighttime adventure, Faith—who far prefers science to society drama and babysitting her needy brother, Howard—isn’t convinced that her father’s death was an accident or a suicide. She thinks that someone on the island is guilty of murder.

While investigating, Faith comes upon a plant that her father may have died to protect: a Lie Tree that, when fed lies, grows a fruit that reveals secrets to those who eat it. Soon, rumors of vengeful ghosts and hidden treasure begin to circulate on the island. Are these lies, spread by Faith in pursuit of justice for her father—a questionable means to a worthwhile end? Who killed Faith’s father—and why? Author Frances Hardinge gives readers enough clues to solve these mysteries, but like the Lie Tree itself, they’re well hidden.

Part historical fiction, part mystery, part gender study and part reflection on the tangled relationship between science and religion, The Lie Tree is a must-read for any teen who loved Jacqueline Kelly’s The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.

 

Jill Ratzan matches readers with books in a small library in southeastern Pennsylvania.

This article was originally published in the May 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

The Lie Tree

The Lie Tree

By Frances Hardinge
Amulet
ISBN 9781419718953

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres every Tuesday.