After finishing school, John – single son of a Brethren family – secretly leaves home. Dreaming of Australia as the ultimate destination he starts hitch-hiking through Europe. Taking a job at a Holiday Camp to subsidise his journey, he learns something about being ‘captive’ in a closed environment in which life is a sequence of institutionalised daily rituals. Arriving in Belgium and looking for somewhere to stay he meets a former inmate of a Belgian concentration camp and finds out that for those who suffered captivity and torture the ordeal never ended. Even decades after the Second World War he discovers that some wounds have never healed. He returns to Glasgow and attends university where his escape from the captivity of the classrooms pays off in deeper achievement and wisdom. The young scholar finds a job in Belgium, deepens his knowledge of the dark past – held secret by victims as well as by perpetrators. Years later, when John gets a job as lecturer in Cambridge University, he meets his first love once more, now engaged to another man. He, too, is harbouring a dark secret.
John MacBeath is Professor Emeritus at the University of Cambridge, an internationally known expert on leadership in education. He has written more than twenty books, most recently ‘Education and schooling – myth heresy and misconception’ depicting his involvement in reforming schools in a number of countries. The book “Escape to Captivity A WANTED AND A WANTING MAN” is his first novel. The depicted voyage through Europe sculpts a compelling tour of the human condition.
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