A tree that feeds with lies and a mysterious death, just what a book needs to intrigue me. 'The Lie Tree' has a great plot, but not such a great beginning. What I didn’t enjoy about this book is the fact that the first few chapters are really slow-paced, so I was afraid that it won’t work for me and I will abandon the book, but brace yourself readers, be ready for a slow beginning and don’t give up because it gets interesting and in the second half of it the pace starts to accelerate, the lies and betrayal take root and a lot of plot twists and tense situations grow out of the pages and will be impossible to put the book down.
What helped me to go through the first chapters was the setting, as a Victorian period lover I was thrilled, especially because Hardinge did a great job creating a perfect atmosphere so everything is so vivid and dark and mysterious. Furthermore, it is indisputable that the author did a great deal of research before writing this beautiful work. We are shown the oddities of the Victorian England, like mourning portraits and ratting pits and the thinking of the Victorian people.
A great emphasize is put on the female role in the society of that time, the absurd discrimination and expectations. 'The Lie Tree' can be seen as a 'feminist triumph' because we have a strong heroine with big dreams. That’s what I like about Faith, that she is brave and strong, even though she’s only fourteen. She is not a damsel in distress, but manage to overcome hardship and fight the bad guys on her own. She is not perfect and has many flaws, but she dream big and wants to show that she can be sharp and have a clever mind, even though she is a girl in that patriarchal society and that not only men have the psychical traits to become great people.
As for the rest of the characters…well, I didn’t get attached to them as I did with the characters of other books, I guess this book put the accent on the main character and her struggles, so the focus is mainly on Faith and the others are just there in the background. It would have been better if there were more interactions between the characters.
Overall, it was an enjoyable read and I will surely read Hardinge’s other books.