Sara Maitland is the author of numerous works of fiction including the Somerset Maugham Award-winning Daughter of Jerusalem. She has lived alone for more than 20 years in an area of Scotland with one of the lowest population densities in Europe. Maitland loves solitude and in 2008 published a book in which she praised the spiritual art of silence; we gave A Book of Silence, a Spirituality & Practice Book Award.

Here the author responds to critics who think that solitude is unnatural, pathological, and dangerous. Instead, Maitland honors solitude and aloneness by facing the fear, exploring reverie, looking at nature, learning something by heart, and respecting differences.

The last thematic section of the book celebrates the joys of solitude that are expressed through consciousness of the self, attunement to nature, a relationship with the transcendent, creativity and freedom. Maitland makes a good case for aloneness thanks to her ability to walk the talk for 20 years.