STEPHEN McGOWN worked as an investment banker in Johannesburg, South Africa, before spending seven years doing similar work in London. While in London, he met his wife, Cath, who shared his desire to return to South Africa to manage his family's farming business and start a family. It was his life on a farm that had inspired Steve's passion for the outdoors and his desire for adventure: in this case, to ride his motorbike from London down Africa back to Johannesburg. But he was abducted in Timbuktu, along with a Dutch and a Swedish national, by Islamist militants of Al Qaeda and held as a hostage, due to his British passport, in many different locations in the Sahara Desert in north-west Africa for nearly six years.
Provides a compelling look at McGown's strength, fortitude and
adaptability along with his instincts that guided his survival
during his six-year ordeal. -- Vanessa Banton * news24 *
McGown's struggle includes expanding his vast capacity for forgiveness . . . His exceptional conquest is renouncing implacable enmity and embracing the most exemplary in human nature. This is the Saharan Oasis he brought home. -- Mahmood Sanglay * Muslim Views *
It was the first kidnapping in Timbuktu, in Mali . . . I had my passport in my pocket and I didn't realise. When I realised, it literally felt like the world was coming down around me. I went icy cold and numb. -- Stephen McGown, interviewed on CapeTalk
A book so unlike any other that it keeps you awake at night with a head full of "what ifs" and "if onlys" . . . an excellent read, part adventure story, part psychological drama. -- Lesley Stones
Not just an incredible story of mental strength, physical endurance and the resilience of the human spirit, but also a unique, nuanced perspective on one of the world's most feared terrorist organisations. Not only did Steve survive his ordeal, but in many respects he came out of the desert both a changed man and a stronger, more positive human. * Goodreads *