In August of 1937, in a small town in eastern North Carolina, we meet the Avery family. Roma Avery is the widowed matriarch who still maintains a hold on her recently married son, Neal. He and his wife, Taw, a former school teacher, rent a room from their friend, Genevieve Slappy, while Porter Farwell, Neal's boyhood friend, now lives in Roma's house. Both Neal and Porter work at the family store, Avery's Clothing. After the first year of marriage, which has seen them drift apart, Taw gives Neal an ultimatum. He must recommit with heart and soul to his marriage vows by ending the long nights he spends out drinking with Porter. He has until supper to abide by her wishes or she will leave him. Neal begins to see life as a grown up, complete with the disappointments he's tried to avoid, and ultimately knows that Taw is the best thing to happen to him. He returns, quietly renewing his love.
The first in the poetic trilogy, New Music, which chronicles the Avery family and their friends through thirty-seven years in a North Carolina town. Elegant melancholy follows these people as they live through the depression, WWII and Vietnam, and a few private wars of their own. "When an author as powerful as Reynolds Price begins to write plays, the theater world must stand up and take notice…Price ranks as one of the great writers of our generation." —TheaterWeek.