The Costa Book of the Year Award, announced last night in London, has been awarded to Frances Hardinge for her novel 'The Lie Tree' making her only the second children's author to ever win the award - Phillip Pullman won it ten years ago.
'The Lie Tree' is a wonderfully evocative and atmospheric novel by Frances Hardinge, award-winning author of 'Cuckoo Song' and 'Fly By Night'.
The plot centres around Faith's father who has been found dead under mysterious circumstances. As she searches 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 her tales spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter in the process.
Frances Hardinge (born 1973) is a British children's writer. She is best known for her debut novel Fly By Night which in 2006 won the Branford Boase Award and was listed as one of the School Library Journal Best Books. She has also been shortlisted and achieved a number of other awards for both her novels as well as some of her short stories. Hardinge is often seen wearing a black hat and enjoys dressing in old-fashioned clothing.