The scene is a cluttered farmhouse in rural New England, where Bill Allenson, a highly regarded but no longer active novelist, has withdrawn from the world, supporting himself and his ailing father by selling rare books through the mail. As the play, begins a winter storm is in progress and an attractive young New York commercial artist, Diane Ashe, appears at the farmhouse door, explaining that her car has broken down in the blizzard. Although suspicious, Bill gives her lodging for the night, and as the evening progresses we are aware that Diane, unlike Bill's neighbors, is both aware of his literary reputation and determined to gain his concern—which she soon does. As the two draw closer, with humorous interruptions by several colorful local characters and the ramblings of Bill's aging father, who had once encountered Albert Einstein at a lunch counter, Bill's eloquent but persistent cynicism seems to soften—until he learns that Diane's presence is not as accidental as she has claimed. As turbulent as it is sudden, their relationship eventually finds its center, and Bill is forced to confront the pain, loss and self-doubt which have made him forsake his talent and the harsh realities of the world in which it once flourished.
This absorbing study of a brilliant, reclusive novelist, whose isolation is breached by an attractive young admirer, was presented with great success by the Hartford Stage Company before going on to Broadway production. "Its characters spring to life so quickly and are so likeable and credible, and its dialogue is so witty and fresh, that the audience is hooked for good within the first ten minutes." —Hartford Advocate. "…laughing-out-loud funny and often surgically incisive…" —Providence Journal-Bulletin. "…an absolutely enjoyable play peopled with characters full of salty wit, troubles and a need for one another." —New London Day.