It's the summer of 1960 in Atkinson, Vermont. Marie Fermoyle is a strong but vulnerable divorced woman whole 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 - hothead and idealistic; and Benjy, 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 "live" 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 unforgettable family.