The action is set in a comfortable suburban home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where Bob and Maurine, a fairly well-off middle-aged couple, are living (apparently happily) with their daughter Karen, a graduate student, and their brooding son, Jeremy, who has recently returned from service in Vietnam. It is Thanksgiving Day, 1973, and they are furiously preparing for the imminent arrival of relatives for a family dinner. At first, the action of the play is refreshingly offhand and filled with warmhearted humor, with Maurine fluttering about chattering nonstop and Bob trying to disguise the fact that he has been smoking a forbidden cigarette. But then, as Jeremy's cutting ripostes become more sarcastic and venomous, the mood changes—impelling a series of explosive confrontations as the others struggle to understand and accept Jeremy's alarming bitterness and to convey the love and deep concern that they feel for him. But, in the end, the gulf between them is too great, the harsh words too hurtful, for harmony to be restored. Instead, there is violence and rage, and the shattering realization that what once was can be no more, and they can only pick u the pieces and go on as best they can.
First presented in London (under the title The War at Home) and then produced on Broadway, this riveting drama blends comedy and tragedy as it illuminates the dilemma of a middle-class Texas family unable to comprehend and deal with the deep-seated disaffection of their Vietnam veteran son. "James Duff's searingly memorable play, HOME FRONT, started Broadway's New Year with a whole cannonade of bangs…it is a play you will never forget…" —NY Post. "…builds to an explosive climax…HOME FRONT is an extraordinary piece of work, a major event of any theater season." —NY Daily News. "The Broadway season's finest new play…a comedy of manners, and a play that matters." —Time Magazine. "…a stunning first play…it is written in blood and tears." —London Sunday Times.