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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2015

The Lie Tree is a wonderfully evocative and atmospheric story by Frances Hardinge, award-winning author of Cuckoo Song and Fly by Night.

Faith's father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree grows healthy and bears fruit only if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. 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....

©2016 Frances Hardinge (P)2016 Macmillan Digital Audio

What listeners say about The Lie Tree

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An interesting tale.

A great place to visit and stay awhile. It certainly gets away from "run of the mill" A very good yarn!

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Interesting potential but would suit a younger audience

I would suggest this story for maybe 10 - 16 year old. It gives an adolescent perspective so lacked the grunt of an adult adventure. Also hated the addition of the whining younger brother.

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Absolutely a good book. Will listen again.

Where does The Lie Tree rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The best

Who was your favorite character and why?

Faith off course.Smart little girl

Have you listened to any of Emilia Fox’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I will

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

At the end. When Faith realize (and accept) that her mother wasn't so bad after all. She just a reasonable slithering snake that tries her best protecting, providing and surviving amid the situation

Any additional comments?

The character of Agatha Lambert is a bit contradicting. She is scientist that believes in ghost - so she needs to shriek when she saw a photos that been modified by Paul? But nevermind that is not by anything lesser the greatness of this book.

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Good story once you understood the plot

interesting plot about a tree that makes you dream and how people influence each other through trees for knowledge

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • KGA Bright
  • 08-06-2016

Loved this, good long story and intriguing!

Great from start to finish - compelling opening, substantial middle and satisfying conclusion. Did not enjoy the wise man voice, totally unnecessary to do an impersonation like that. Loved the story. Really enjoyed the level of detail.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • fletchek
  • 06-02-2017

Interesting concept, let down by patchy execution

The basic concept of a Lie Tree was OK, but the writing was lazy and repetitive (people kept doing things 'reflexively' and, if they were holding on, you can bet it would be 'for grim death') and the sexism of the time was conveyed with all the subtlety of a rhino trying to tap dance. Shame the editor didn't do a better job of pruning back the overkill and sharpening up the writing.

57 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kaggy
  • 04-05-2016

It grows next to the Tedium Bush…

You know that feeling you get when you click on a link on the internet and then you get the dreaded circle of death going interminably round and round and round …… Well this is the feeling I got when listening to this story. I had a strong sense that there was a good idea amongst all the ponderous detail but getting to it felt like trying to pluck a prawn from a lobster shell. Faith is a young repressed Victorian woman investigating the death of her secretive clergyman/naturalist father. Was it murder or was it suicide? To be honest I didn’t really care. He was such a monumentally horrible man, that if I were Faith I would find it hard to wipe the grin off my face after hearing of his demise.

For the most part Emilia Fox read this ludicrous tale with reasonable enthusiasm, but why on earth did she give little Howard such a horrible ickle cutesy wootsy voice? My teeth still hurt thinking about it and I will fastidiously avoid books containing children in the immediate future.

94 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Camilla Morgan
  • 29-03-2016

Good story, mediocre writing, annoying reader

What did you like best about The Lie Tree? What did you like least?

Most: The idea of a tree that feeds on lies and reveals truth is quite interesting but I had to listen through something like 10 hours of boring dross before our protagonist has anything to do with the lie tree at all.

Least: Since the name of the wind, I've felt starved for a scintillating story and beautiful writing. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the lie tree is neither of these things. There were some similes I found so irritating that I almost sent it back, E.G. something something 'unfolded like flowers... or knives'..... neither of these things unfold. Also, I feel that 'apocalyptic thoroughness' when applied to a tough conversation with one's dad is ham-fisted to say the least.

I really don't get why it won an award, but then I guess the award was from Costa Coffee. Perhaps this is the lie and there's a tree somewhere growing a nice juicy grape.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The writing just leaves me with questions. Beyond one fond childhood memory of fossil hunting on the beach, why does this girl love her father so much? The two things she's quite certain of are that she's clever and she likes fossils, so why doesn't she hate her father who believes she's just a burdensome uneducated plonker because she's a girl?

How could the performance have been better?

Perhaps I'd have felt quite differently about this book had the narrator not sounded like she was performing the novel to a group of frightened children around a campfire in the middle of the night on Halloween.

Do you think The Lie Tree needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. Please no.

38 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Angela Melody Wilson
  • 11-12-2017

Fun Listen but drags on towards the end

I enjoyed this book despite being slightly older than the target audience. It was very entertaining in the beginning and the build-up was great. I did find that it dragged out in the second half and I was lacking some excitement.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs R J Woodley
  • 06-01-2017

Took a long time to warm up

I found the start of this book very dull and it was only the other reviews indicating it got better that I endured the first 13 chapters.
It did however get better after that and so in the round made it just about worth it angling in there. The second half has a different pace entirely.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elizabeth
  • 27-07-2017

Excellent , stick with it.

I find it quite hard to get into this book. Beautifully read, no issue there, just somehow I could not get engaged. But all the reviews plus the"costa" award convinced me to persevere and suddenly I was hooked and had difficulty getting on with my work rather than reading (listening) all day. Wonderful story and Faith is an inspiring character particularly for young female readers. Highly recommended

10 people found this helpful

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  • Robyn
  • 05-05-2016

Different but enjoyable

It had to happen - I am now taking recommendations from my 10 years old! She's also an avid Brandon Sanderson fan, so I trusted her and took a punt and downloaded the Lie Tree.

Not what I was expecting, but comfortably enjoyable. Although somewhat predictable, and it did take a while to get going, it's well written, and an unusual story in many respects. The storyline I found most enjoyable was not the Lie Tree plot, rather it was the references to women, and how they weren't really seen / visible in learned society back then. Naturally our heroine doesn't behave as she's expected to, and that's what makes her likable.

It has some dark moments, (but apparently not as dark as some of Frances Hardinge's other works - according to my daughter), but there's also a good moral victory in the end.

It made a change to my usual fare, so glad I listened to it.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-11-2016

Unexpected

What made the experience of listening to The Lie Tree the most enjoyable?

Not at all what I expected but thoroughly enjoyed it

Its true the Lie Tree doesn't get a mention for quite some time but that is correct for this tale

Its true that none of the characters are likable, but why do you need to someone to like? It's none the worse for it; better even
.



What other book might you compare The Lie Tree to, and why?

Not comparable to anything

Have you listened to any of Emilia Fox’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I knocked one star of her performance just for the ickle wickle soppy voice she used for Howard. This jarred and would take me out the moment. The only black spot in this Audible book

Any additional comments?

Read it or listen to it. But come to it with an open mind and no expectations and you will find an unusual tale well told

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ron
  • 10-09-2016

Slow burn, but magnificent!

it took 4 or 5 attempted starts for this book to catch my attention. but persevere i did, and what a story! there are triangles within triangles, juxtapositions, unexpected angles, and all painted in grey and deep blue and black. its a bit like a Hitchcock film turned into literature. i withheld 1 star because it was so hard to get started otherwise it would be a 5star book

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christine Holyoake
  • 26-05-2016

fantastic for any age

I loved this story. A fantastic adventure story, a detective story, morality, history all knitted together. I felt torn, wanting to get to the end to learn the mystery and not wanting it to end

2 people found this helpful

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