"Like Ghosts"

Humbert's thoughts on returning to France after imprisonment and forced labor: 

“We have been told that we will soon be going back to France. For us, as for most of the other prisoners, the joy of returning home is ringed with apprehension at what we will find when we get there, or rather what we will not find. It’s been so long since we had any news from out families and loved ones! Are they dead or alive? Are our homes still standing? Without wanting to paint too black a picture or to expect the worst, we know with certainty that major changes lie in store for us in France. Life has gone on without us, and now we are suddenly about to reappear like ghosts – and the living are always a little afraid of ghosts. If we are honest, we are all rather dreading the moment of return, which is now looming so close.”