At First glance, Operation Oboe would appear an historical novel. Delving deeper, however, it is much more: it is validation of the past. It is a window through which we can view a time when ordinary people had the courage to do extraordinary things in exceptional circumstances. It is a story that Miller Caldwell always felt that he should tell, about his brave Aunt Fleur and her niece Vera, in order to record forever their courage and heroism during the two Great Wars. Miller skillfully recaptures events in 1914 when, in Germany at the outset of the First World War, a young Scottish girl who happened to be visiting relatives when the war was declared, is smuggled out of the country by courageous sympathisers. Vera flees for her life but what of the fate of her Aunt Fleur and her other German relatives? Aunt Fleur survives the experience of war in Germany under house arrest and goes on to give birth to a son. During traumatic times in her life, not least the death of her husband, her love of music sustains her and her precious Oboe is always her trusty companion. With her son grown up and absorbed into Hitle's Nazi youth, Fleur finds that she is offered both a challenge and an exciting opportunity to travel. This venture leads her on a fervent journey to the African Gold Coast, where she finds herself in the midst of the Second World War acting undercover as an anthropologist. Her assignment is named "Operation Oboe," thus initiating what will become an incredible mission of both diplomatic importance and personal enlightenment. To record historic events and the lives of people that have shaped history for future generations, is a wonderful thing to do and Caldwell has recounted this particular story with an attention to detail that has obviously come from extensive research. His prose and descriptions of colourful places are delightful and poignant moments are so sensitively expressed that I have to admit to at times being moved to tears. So as I close the covers of Operation Oboe and heartily recommend it to you as an exciting, edifying read, I am left with this one thought: If Operation Oboe was to be made into a film then I wonder who would play Fleur? Perhaps Kate Winslett or even Meryl Streep?