This is historical fiction at its finest. The setting, characters and history are all very well developed. The reader is drawn into the Revolutionary War as experienced by a family and their neighbors as they are forced to take sides, and sometimes change sides, when the conflict engulfs them. The action takes place in New Jersey where the Whig and Loyalists forces struggle for dominance.
What develops is a vicious civil war between former friends and neighbors. Family ties are strained to the breaking point and beyond. The brutal and ugly nature of the very personal conflict is dramatically depicted. Atrocities are committed on both sides along with vengeance and settling of old scores. Woven into the story are strong women, love and hate.
All this is great drama and great history. Those who wish to see a clean fight between the forces of good and evil will be surprised to see that the reality was far more complex with many horrific acts perpetrated on both sides. There is no flag waving patriotism seen through rose colored glasses. Instead, we witness the down and dirty business of survival in a world gone mad.
I highly recommend this novel. One caveat is that there are countless errors in spelling, punctuation and similar-but-wrong words appearing in the text of the e-version. Clearly, these errors came from the scanning used to transfer from print to electronic format. In practice, the eye becomes accustomed to the idiosyncrasies and they are soon overlooked.
Book Title: Liberty Tavern
Author: Thomas Fleming