True Freedom is almost a docudrama of the events which took place in the late 18th century in and around Boston when opinion was violently divided between loyalty to the Crown (ie. George III) and an independent America. It culminated in the Boston Tea Party and subsequent War of Independence.

The remarkable achievement of this book is to show how the vested interests of British and American politicians collided (or not) and the reaction on each side of the Atlantic. Britain, in true style, recalled the only person in authority who understood the situation and the vacuum was filled by those who could not cope. The result was anarchy in Boston and an increasing willingness to side with the rebels in order to restore peace.

I invariably squirm at the phrase “beautifully written” when applied to novels, which mostly means they are not, and often less than not! However, this book is a masterpiece. Michael Dean captures the spirit of the age and the irony that at the last moment the British Government decided to capitulate to the rebels’ demands – just too late to prevent war. If there ever has been a special relationship with America (then in its infancy) it has been a pretty fraught one.

True Freedom can be highly recommended from both a literary and historical point of view. Excellent.

Ruth Ginarlis 5/5*

True Freedom by Michael Dean
9781 907320 86 6 Holland Park Press June 2019