Top positive review
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This is a great book, but not a thriller, so give it a chance!
on 10 July 2005
Homeland is set in 1946, in the depths of the countryside - an area that has not been devestated by the bombings of the 2nd world war.
However, even after the end of the war, its effects are still felt; large numbers of the homeless Polish army have been housed nearby in makeshift accomodation, and farm labour is short due to war casualties. Day to day necessities are also in short supply.
The book interweaves the characters of the villagers with the returning servicemen and the alienated Poles.
I found the characterisations strong, drawing you into their lives. Their hardships are stark compared to our situation today, but their attitudes are profoundly positive.
Interestingly, a member of our book group related recently, how her dad was a warden for a group of similar Polish soldiers living in camps in Britain. He apparently allowed several to go unofficially AWOL to representative areas of Poland to assess the situation there. As a result quite a number of Poles decided to return to their homes.
In Homeland, Clare Francis states that those who had chosen to go home were never heard from again, which prevented many from making that choice. It would seem that different information was making its way back to the different camps.
Quite a diversion from Ms Francis's usual style, hopefully there will be more to follow. I am sorry other reviewers did not enjoy it, this is Historical fiction, not a thriller!