Frances Hardinge is the author of several books, has won and been short-listed for many awards, and now this year wins the Costa Children’s Book award. The awarding judges said: “We all loved this dark, sprawling, fiercely clever novel that blends history and fantasy in a way that will grip readers of all ages.
Faith’s father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree only grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered. The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father’s murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as the tree bears more and more fruit, she discovers something terrifying – that her lies were closer to the truth than she could ever have imagined.