Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Lie Tree

Faith Sunderly has a complicated relationship with her father.  She admires his position as a reverend and his authority as a natural scientist.  Reverend Sunderly has gained notoriety through his discovery of skeletal remains that seem to prove the existence of angels and demons.

Faith also loves science, but she is denied entry into the scientific world simply because she is female.  She craves knowledge and discovery, but she can only glean morsels from the periphery by pretending to be a simple empty-headed girl.  Any sign of curiosity draws attention to her and gets her banished.

When scandal arises, the Sunderly family moves to a remote island where Faith begins to understand the truth about her father and his discovery.  In a moment of desperation, he turns to Faith for help.  Her esteemed and austere father believes he has discovered a tree that can reveal profound truths.

While Faith believes in her father, she isn't sure believes his story, but matters are complicated when the Reverend is found dead the next morning.  Was it an accident, suicide, or murder?  Faith believes her father was murdered, and sets out to discover the truth.

Frances Hardinge's newest novel is a fascinating combination of historical women's roles, scientific exploration, fantasy, and mystery.  I'm a little behind on posting reviews since I read this back in May.  I got the ARC at TLA, and this was the first thing I read.  There is plenty of depth here.  Highly recommended!

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