It's the summer of 1960 in Atkinson, Vermont. Maria Fermoyle is a strong but vulnerable divorced woman whose loneliness and ambition for her children make her easy prey for dangerous con man Omar Duvall. Marie's children are Alice, seventeen—involved with a young priest; Norm, sixteen—hotheaded and idealistic; and Benny, twelve—isolated and misunderstood, and so desperate for his mother's happiness that he hides the deadly truth he knows about Duvall. We also meet Sam Fermoyle, the children's alcoholic father; Sam's brother-in-law, who makes anonymous "love" calls from the bathroom of his failing appliance store; and the Klubock family, who—in contrast to the Fermoyles—live an orderly life in the house next door.
Songs in Ordinary Time is a masterful epic of the everyday, illuminating the kaleidoscope of lives that tell the compelling story of this unforgettably family.