Published Alumna: ‘The Dictator’s Wife’


'A sumptuously written story, which demands to be devoured in one sitting'--GLAMOUR

'A remarkable new talent' --ANTHONY HOROWITZ

We are delighted to share that RHSB alumna Freya Berry has had her debut novel The Dictator's Wife published.

The story follows a captivating dictator's wife standing trial for her dead husband's crimes, and the web of secrets she weaves around her young female lawyer. Partly inspired by Freya’s time as a journalist following Melania Trump in the 2016 US election, it is an exploration of female power, complicity and sacrifice, and the relationship between mothers and daughters. The Dictator’s Wife is set in Eastern Europe, where Freya travelled for several months as research, hearing stories of lives under Communism and having many adventures, including on her first night when I was teargassed while attending an anti-government protest in Bucharest.

Available to purchase online from many recognised book sellers, The Dictator’s Wife is published by Hachette's Headline and has received wonderful endorsements from Marian Keyes, Anthony Horowitz, Emma Stonex and Harlan Coben among others, and it is a Best Book of February from Waterstone's.

Freya has many happy memories of her time at RHSB and especially remembers being sent to Miss Bevan (then Head of the Junior School at Hope House)’s office having let off a stink bomb – which Freya puts down to reading too much Enid Blyton! She left RHSB in 2002 when her parents moved to Bristol and then went on to read English at Trinity College Cambridge. Sheila Hirst had been Freya’s favourite teacher at RHSB and a particular influence in deciding on her chosen subject! Following University Freya became a journalist at Reuters, covering corporate mergers and acquisitions and later Brexit. Around the time Freya decided to quit and write a book she had an offer from the Daily Mail to cover the 2016 US election in New York. This planted the seed for The Dictator's Wife. Freya explains ‘I'm fascinated by public perception and private fact; by ambiguity and the manipulation of truth; and by how our rational minds can so easily be overpowered by fear, and glamour.’

Splitting her time between London and the beautiful beaches of Wales, Freya is currently adding the finishing touches to a second book about female explorers.

Freya Berry headshot