Caledonian Skies, Hugh Wilson, 2013, ISBN 978-1-4808-055-2, 159 pp.
Hugh Wilson is first generation U.S. citizen descending from Scotland born and raised parents. He has written an intriguing as well as entertaining story of how World War II in Europe may have been prevented in Caledonian Skies. His love for his ancestral country shines through in the description of Scotland as well as its brand of English. Aviation loving readers will also welcome the aircraft and piloting touches which run through this novel.
Starting with World War I aircraft, his characters, full of depth and individuality but without stereotyping, the tale segues to one of the sleekest aircraft designs ever to fly in the Heinkel He 119 during late 1939.
Wilson’s writing makes for easy reading but not because of lack of depth or range. The Nazi military-politico strategy is made evident as are the reactions of Denmark, Great Britain, the United States and Ireland among others and all in their turn. Wilson does not shy from social mores or cultural differences in this fast paced story marked by desperation and chance.
Pilots, as well as those who love flying, will welcome the aviation insights woven into the novel. Adventurers, too, will smile warmly at the chance occurrences which drop in on the story arc like random events always do.
This is a pleasant novel to read on a short trip or on the balcony enjoying an evening or two of air. Soon the reader will be experiencing the lives of the characters and their decisions having to be made in those dodgy days leading to war in Europe.