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Synopsis: 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. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered. The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father’s murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as her tales spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter. . . .

Me: This book seems to be the subject of every book club going so ours decided to get in on the action and review it too. And I’m really not sure how I feel about it. I certainly don’t understand the fuss it’s causing. I really did not like the first 200 pages and if not for book club may have actually given up. The victim of the story took 160 pages to actually die with nothing happening. I never thought it actually possible to drag nothing into so many words. Then we had another 30 pages preparing for a funeral that never was. It was about this point I really wanted to give up.

It did however get better when it turns into a murder mystery and Faith tries to uncover the secret of the Lie Tree and who killed her father. I found the treatment and depiction of women disturbing. However it’s quite true to the times when women were encouraged to be both NOT seen or heard either. The book is just so bleak and depressing I found it hard to take much positive out of it. The premise is an interesting one. A tree that feeds on lies whose fruit allows you to see some version of a truth. The games you could play making up the lies! And indeed that may have been my favourite part of the book – small lies by Faith becoming bigger and more dangerous as they spread.

Ultimately I was highly disappointed. It’s my first time reading Hardinge and based on this I’m probably not going to read another. A shame as I’d been looking forward to reading it. And to top it off I’ll not be able to make book club so can’t argue my points either! Oh well can’t enjoy them all!

2016 reading challenge – a book set on an island