So, I’ve read Frances Hardinge’s The Lie Tree now, and it is such a beautiful, beautiful story that I hugged the book when I finished it.
The book starts out with Faith Sunderly and her family moving to a remote island after her father Erasmus Sunderly, a renowned natural scientist, has been accused of creating fake fossiles in his research. As the adults hope to leave the impending scandal behind them, Faith is left to puzzle out the reason for their flight on her own, while taking care of her young brother Howard, as they move into their new home. But there are a lot of things Faith is not let in on, and it soon becomes clear that her father has a lot of secrets. When he dies mysteriously, Faith decides to delve deeper into the cirumstances around his death, one of them being a strange plant he has left after him…
I don’t know if I’ve ever read a young adult book that is so deeply feminist, with such a keen eye for sexism in all its forms. How cleverly it shows the change of perspective in a subdued girl who adores her father but slowly starts to question her environment, taking the chance to act against the crushing narratives of patriarchal society.
In short, I loved this book, and Frances Hardinge has now an even more cherished place in my heart.