Homeland by Clare Francis (Pan, £6.99).

Clare Francis's book, set in the Somerset wetlands, takes the reader back to 1946 and the eve of the harshest winter for 100 years.

Those who served during the war are returning to a country where there are severe food shortages and a housing crisis.

Tension is heightened with the arrival of soldiers from the Second Polish Corps, who are refusing to return to their homeland.

Newly demobbed Billy Greer agrees to take on Polish veteran Wladyslaw Malinowski as a labourer on his uncle's farm.

Local teacher Stella has been waiting for the return of Lyndon Hanley from Burma but finds herself increasingly attracted to Wladyslaw.

As hardship and blizzards make life difficult, the tensions of post-war life lead to mistrust and accusation.

This is an enjoyable and atmospheric novel with strong characters.