As the 1939-1945 war slows to a clumsy halt, a trembling world holds out its arms to welcome peace back home again. Alice Fairley, her friends and her family are surprised to find themselves so unprepared for peacetime. In a way, it's like starting all over again: all the things one was confident about have disappeared or changed shape somehow, while things which were acceptable, or even pleasant, now seem different, dull, irksome. Noisy whispers of spy-rings and foreign conspiracies provoke shockwaves of malice and stinging intolerance. The world has grown up. Quickly, they discover that the battle is not over yet . . . persistent spectres of duty and guilt pick their victims indiscriminately.