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The Lie Tree
This wonderfully eerie coming of age story, set in Victorian times, this book won the Costa Book of the Year in 2015.
At 14, Faith would dearly love to follow her father, a botanist and fossil hunter, into a life of learning and science. But in an age when too much knowledge is considered inappropriate for a young girl she is frustrated and angry. As suspicions gather that her father’s greatest find, an evolutionary breakthrough, might actually be two pieces of bone glued together, the whole family escape to a remote island. Here he unpacks his precious botanical collection including his most prized and secret specimen. This grows into a fantastical tree which appears to feed off lies – but its fruits offer secret truths. At all levels reality and deception lie at the heart of this tale. Inquisitive and ambitious, Faith’s mission is to understand her father’s work and to solve the riddle of his death. Primarily aimed at older children and teenagers this is also an enormously original, rich and satisfying read for adults.
Pan Macmillan paperback, £7.99