Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Author: Frances Hardinge
Publisher: Pan Macmillan, Macmillan Children’s Books
Published: May 7th, 2015
This is set in the Victorian era, a few years after the publication of ‘The Origin of Species’ by Charles Darwin. Reverend Erasmus Sunderly is well known as a natural scientist but he disagrees with evolution and the views of Darwin. Scandal regarding his discoveries is about to impact on the lives of him and his family so he accepts a timely invitation for them to go to Vane Island. His eldest daughter, Faith, is inquisitive like her father but she’s at that awkward age – too young to be accepted by adults but too old to really be in the Nursery. When she finds her father’s body she disagrees with the supposition that he committed suicide to escape the scandalous rumours and sets out to uncover the truth after finding out about her father’s Lie Tree and how to use it.
This is highly original and thought provoking. It explores life at that time, the contradictory views, attitudes towards women and questions if knowing the truth is always a good thing. I would suggest this is most suitable for a young adult audience rather than any younger because of the themes of murder and suicide integral to the story. It is powerfully written with an intriguing plot that takes the reader on a fast paced, roller coaster ride with plenty of twists, turns and obstacles en route, too.
Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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