Author: Frances Hardinge.
It was not enough. All knowledge- any knowledge – called to Faith, and there was a delicious, poisonous pleasure in stealing it unseen.
Faith has a thirst for science and secrets that the rigid confines of her class cannot supress. And so it is that she discovers her disgraced father’s journals, filled with the scribbled notes and theories of a man driven close to madness. Tales of a strange tree which, when told a lie, will uncover a truth: the greater the lie, the greater the truth revealed to the liar. Faith’s search for the tree leads her into great danger – for where lies seduce, truths shatter . . .
The Lie Tree was an intriguing fantasy-mystery set solidly in history (about the 19th century); an interesting combination I thoroughly approve of. I thought the author did a good job of combining all her different themes (the lie tree with all its attached metaphors, the feminism/social-commentary theme, the whole mystery side) without being muddied or confusing.
Sexual Content: Rumors that a woman is courting a married man.
Language: 1 d***, 1 derogatory term
Violence: Boy is caught in a rabbit trap and his foot rather badly hurt. Character finds a bloody (dead) body. Character watches a terrier kill multiple rats (an arranged sport – ratting). Girl is bitten by a rat. Character sets fire to a tree in an enclosure with two other characters; one is killed, the other escapes. Character jumps off a cliff in suicide.