Invalided out of the army at the end of the Second World War, Matthew Wallingham can't even look forward to his new future. As he lies in a hospital bed, he wonders what place there is in a new social order for a blind man - even if he is a decorated war hero. He has the sympathy of his family and his friends, but it seems that the only person who is able to help him in his depression is his nurse, Liz. Outside, Britain is adjusting to the realities of austerity; the price of peace is plain to see in the shortages of daily life and the shabby bomb-damaged cities. It is to this world that millions of ex-service people are returning to families, homes and unfamiliar jobs in civvy street. Matthew is one of them. When he arrives home, he realises that his family have their problems too. His father is ill, and his mother is obviously unhappy, while his younger brother, who has made a success of running the farm on the family's estate in the war years, is resentful that Matthew should think he can help him. The only person Matthew feels he can talk to is his grandmother, and apparently she is regarded as a holy terror by the rest of the family. It soon dawns on Matthew that what few plans he has are not going to work, and he starts to look for a new career; and for Liz, for increasingly she seems to have become the focus of all his thoughts and his hopes for a future. But Liz herself has a shadow hanging over her that will bring a terrifying violence into the Wallingham family's life ...In a career that extended over more than forty-five years, Catherine Cookson, Britain's best-loved writer, described a world she experienced at first hand herself - the social changes, the pains as well as the pleasures of the brave new world of peace.