Some people long to find it, others long to escape it. But, whether we welcome or dread it, solitude is something we all experience in different forms at different points in our lives.
After enduring nearly five years of solitary confinement, in cruel and terrifying conditions, Terry Waite discovered that he was drawn to find out more about the power of solitude in the lives of other people. The result is this haunting book, in which he recalls his encounters with people who have experienced some very different ways of being solitary: among them the peaceful solitude of remote and beautiful places; the unsought and often unnoticed solitude of lonely people living in the midst of busy cities; the deceptive solitude of those living in the twilight world of espionage; the enforced solitude of the convict and the prisoner of war; and finally the inescapable solitude of those who are drawing near to death.
Through all these encounters, and through the memories and reflections they trigger in the author’s mind, we see how solitude shapes the human soul – and how it can be a force for good in our own lives, if we can only learn to use it well.