This New York Times bestseller of a troubled family in 1960s Vermont is "teeming with incident and characters, often foolish, even nasty, but always alive" (The New Yorker).
It is the summer of 1960 in Atkinson, Vermont. With no help from her alcoholic ex-husband, Marie Fermoyle is raising three children on the edge of poverty. Her seventeen-year-old daughter, Alice, is becoming emotionally involved with a local priest in a staunchly Catholic town that disapproves of Marie's divorce. Alice's brother Norm is a hotheaded sixteen-year-old, and twelve-year-old Benjy is isolated and full of anxieties, looking with yearning at the Klubocks next door, who seem to live an orderly, peaceful life much unlike his own family's.
Now, Marie has met a new man: Omar Duvall, who talks about opportunities and riches but so far seems only to sponge off the Fermoyles. A lonely, desperate single mother like Marie is easy prey for con men, but she resists the temptation to doubt him. Young Benjy, though, may eventually reveal a disturbing secret that could shatter all her hopes.
A portrait of a family as well as a town and its secrets, Songs in Ordinary Time is "a gritty, beautifully crafted novel rich in wisdom and suspense" (The Miami Herald). An Oprah's Book Club selection from an author nominated for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, it is "extraordinary . . . a deeply satisfying story" (USA Today).