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The Lie Tree

af Frances Hardinge

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1,6106810,966 (3.97)104
On an island off the south coast of Victorian England, fourteen-year-old Faith investigates the mysterious death of her father, who was involved in a scandal, and discovers a tree that feeds upon lies and gives those who eat its fruit visions of truth.

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» Se også 104 omtaler

Engelsk (66)  Ungarsk (1)  Alle sprog (67)
Viser 1-5 af 67 (næste | vis alle)
This was really quite good. I liked the characters and the story was quite intriguing. The best part was the diversity in how women deal with their subordinate position in 19th century society. ( )
  zjakkelien | Jan 2, 2024 |
Firstly, I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, having previously read one of the author's straight fantasy novels. This is a blend of historical novel, set in 1865, and fantasy or magical realism, because there is one big element - and no spoiler, given the title - which is slightly reminiscient of 'Little Shop of Horrors'. However there is so much here - mystery, murder, gender politics, rite of passage/adolescent passions and fixatedness, family relationships, the huge societal upheaval caused by the emergence of the theory of evolution and the effect this had on religion and society at the time - that the author has a huge amount to juggle and interweave and on the whole does so successfully.

To say just a little about the plot as I don't want to give too much away, Faith and her family arrive at the island of Vane as the story opens. Her father, the Reverend, is a celebrated amateur palaentologist in an era before the term was coined - he is widely known for his discovery of fossils, including one which seems to support the Biblical account and refute the evolutionary theories published a few years previously by Charles Darwin and others. He has never taken his family to a 'dig' before, yet he is doing just that, and daughter Faith, who has learned to evesdrop and read other people's letters if she wants to find out anything, soon discovers that he has been persuaded by his brother-in-law, who has accompanied them, to accept an invitation to the excavation on Vane in order to evade a huge scandal triggered by an article in a respected newspaper that alleges that his fossils are fakes. However, the scandal is not long in pursuing them to Vane.

The characters are all well realised - and there are a lot of them - and nothing is black and white. The heroine, Faith, has a singleminded love of her father despite its being increasingly obvious in the first part of the book that he has no regard for her whatsoever: something he makes perfectly plain in their big confrontation in his study late one night. As a girl she is constantly slighted, passed over, belittled - despite her intelligence and her obvious superiority to her six year old slightly thicko brother who is unthinkingly granted the privileges she yearns for - she has to ride on his coat tails if she is to be allowed any access to the tunnel at the excavation, for example. She despises her mother's tactics of using her prettiness and feminity to get her way, and she looks down on other women, though the events in the book cause her to change her opinions. But she is in a cleft stick: she identifies with the male world of science only to have its door slammed in her face and told that her only use is to be 'good' and to marry.

The world of 1865 is very well realised with the class snobbery, the very restricted and belittling attitudes to women and the tactics they have to resort to in order to try to get around the barriers raised against them, plus the clash between those who view the Bible as literally true and those who accept the evolution idea. Faith's blinkered love for her father is very true to life, despite his misogyny and blatant hypocrisy - he recruits her to help him conceal the secret behind his frauds, asking her to use her cleverness to help him, straight after lambasting her for daring to be clever in the first place. And her singleminded crusade to uncover the truth in the later part of the book is driven by that love, although gradually she comes to see that he is really not a nice person at all.

The only niggles I found were a) not being really convinced that the main villains would have that relationship - I did start to wonder about a certain person but couldn't see a real motive when it became clear that the villain had not acted alone and b) the plant of the title being completely anti-science. Ranging from its reaction to sunlight to its ability to produce a fruit that would relate to the lie told to it - even if, as Faith wonders at one point, it is really the eater's own sub-conscious that is being tapped in the resulting visions - and its astounding growth in response to her lies when her father's more widespread frauds had a far less spectacular effect, none of it really hangs together, which is why I've described this story as a blend of historical novel with fantasy or magical realism. But the other elements, the plotting and the character interaction enabled me to overlook that while reading, so I would only deduct a .5 for the niggles. So really a 4.5 but as that isn't possible on Goodreads, it's a 5-star rating. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
Faith discovers a strange tree as she searches through her dead father's belongings. The tree thrives on being told lies and reveals a truth to whoever eats its fruit. Faith uses the tree to discover how her father died, but the heady mixing of lies and truth spirals out of control.

This is an excellent read for young people, providing strong storytelling, an evocative atmosphere and a powerful moral and ethical message. Faith has a strong sense of what she wants to do and to find out, but has to learn to control her impulses and become mindful of how what she does and who she is affects those around her. The 19th century setting and close-knit community generate a claustrophobia that squeezes Faith and leads her to trike out for what she believes in. ( )
  pierthinker | Nov 21, 2023 |
I really enjoyed this parable on evolution, emerging feminism and honesty. You'd think that a speculative fiction book about a girl's role in society, the tension inherent in being a natural scientist while being clergy (as most Victorian scientists were), the Victorian obsession with death, and evolution would be pretty scattered. However, I found The Lie Tree to be one of the most tightly woven books I've ever read: no subplot was left unresolved, and barely a sentence was included without being tied back to one of the central themes of the book. This smoothness may be a turnoff for some -- in places, it made the book feel a little juvenile to me -- but I couldn't help but marvel at the artistry.

And at the end of the day, my favorite themes are women's place in science, the marvel inherent in natural science, the importance of uncomfortable honesty and speculative fiction, so I enjoyed this thoroughly. ( )
  settingshadow | Aug 19, 2023 |
I absolute LOVED this book. Love, love, love, LOVED it. I read Fly by night a few years ago and it is one of my favorite books (as well as the sequel, the sequel is one of the better sequels I've read), but for some reason I haven't checked out anything else by Frances Hardinge, probably for fear of not liking that. Was that fear ever unfounded! Now I want to read everything she's ever written.

The setting of this book is WONDERFUL. The back mentions the Lie Tree and yes, that sounded like a cool fantasy plot, but when I started to read it and realized what it was actually about I almost died. It is set in the late 1800s at excavation digs! It's about fossils and evolution and above all natural sciences! I didn't see it coming but oh it was the best.

And it's about being a woman in that setting, of not being allowed to pursue your interests but doing it anyway, about thinking you're not like others girl and then realizing that neither are other girls, about men thinking you're inferior and then ignoring you when you prove them wrong, about history lying about women's contributions and about being a bad example. OH, it's so good.

Ooh, and Faith, my child, my wonderful, curious, clever child, my good girl who knows better than anyone that good girls don't make history, how amazing you are. I thought Mosca Mye from Fly by night was an amazing character, but so is Faith but in different ways and I just wanna protect her, even though she clearly doesn't need me to. I love her.

I could go on, but everything about it was great. I like how the plot is set up, how the characters are introduced, how the mystery is unravelled, how the Lie Tree works, everything. I honstely cannot think of a single thing to complain about (for once I can't even complain about the lack of lesbians because!!!).

So good. ( )
  upontheforemostship | Feb 22, 2023 |
Viser 1-5 af 67 (næste | vis alle)

» Tilføj andre forfattere (10 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Frances Hardingeprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Chris RiddellIllustratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Fox, EmiliaFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Iacobaci, GiuseppeOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Kempe, YlvaOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet



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To my father
For quiet wisdom and integrity,
and for respecting me as an adult long before I was one
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The boat moved with a nauseous, relentless rhythm, like someone chewing on a rotten tooth.
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A lie was like a fire, Faith was discovering. At first it needed to be nursed and fed, but carefully and gently. A slight breath would fan the new-born flames, but too vigorous a huff would blow it out. Some lies took hold and spread, crackling with excitement, and no longer needed to be fed. But then these were no longer your lies. They had a life and shape of their own and there was no controlling them.
'Listen, Faith. A girl cannot be brave, or clever, or skilled as a boy can. If she is not good, she is nothing. Do you understand?' (p. 96)
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On an island off the south coast of Victorian England, fourteen-year-old Faith investigates the mysterious death of her father, who was involved in a scandal, and discovers a tree that feeds upon lies and gives those who eat its fruit visions of truth.

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