In his search for the diverse meanings of sanctuary, Larry Gaudet throws light on the dysfunctions and hidden costs of the way we live-and challenges us to find ways to bring down the walls that keep so many of us estranged from our own experience. Safe Haven is a work of imaginative non-fiction that explores the notion of sanctuary as it has evolved through history. Sanctuary is a beautiful word: philosophically rich, culturally intriguing and evocative of so much we cherish-protection, safety, contemplation, solitude. The book's touchstone is Gaudet's attempt to remove his family to the security and solitude of a barn home by the sea in Nova Scotia, and all the humorous, poignant and revelatory consequences of that attempt. In a culture gone mad with speed, media addiction, mass voyeurism, and the global turbulence beamed into our homes and computers, Gaudet found sanctuary-seeking to be a deeply uncomfortable precondition for a new engagement with the world. The book also travels to the ruined shrines of ancient Greece, the frozen vistas and forlorn social realities of Canada's north, and dips into Gaudet's own Acadian heritage of displacement, and the ethnic cleansing of his ancestral family. On the way, Gaudet offers thoughtful provocation to those who think sanctuary is just another word for escape. Ultimately Gaudet is writing about the mysterious world between the myth of sanctuary and its actual circumstance, a fertile state where our fears, regrets, memories and dreams are as real, and unreal, as anything else.