It is 1946, and the eve of the harshest winter for a hundred years. Servicemen are pouring home from the war to a Britain beset by stringent food and fuel shortages, and a desperate housing crisis. Anxieties are heightened by the unexpected arrival of the soldiers of the Second Polish Corps, whose refusal to go back to Poland is regarded with impatience and suspicion. Recently demobbed, Billy Greer has no intention of returning to his parochail life on the Somerset wetlands.But in an attempt to impress Annie, the woman he walked away from at the start of the war, he stays long enough to get his uncle's neglected willow farm up and running again. As anti-Polish propaganda reaches its height, he agrees to take on a labourer from the nearby Polish resettlement camp, a young veteran of Monte Cassino named Wladyslaw Malinowski. Stella, the local schooteacher, has been waiting for the return of Lyndon Hanley, a hero of the Burma Campaign. But Lyndon is troubled, elusive, and ultimately unresponsive. When he goes away again, she find herself drawn to the beguiling and irrepressible Wladyslaw, the outsider. As the country is brought to its knees by blizzards, the realities of post-war life prove too harsh for some, and a turning-point for others. Atmospheric, poignant and rich in description, HOMELAND depicts with dramatic power the turbulence of a country beggared by war and the uncertainties of the men returning to it. This is Clare Francis at her very best.
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