The late 1980s come alive in this moving and keenly observed story of one boy's unforgettable sophomore year, and his parents' surprising journey alongside him.
It's the fall of 1987 and life as normal is ending for the Malone family. With their sterile Dallas community a far cry from the Irish-American Bronx of their youth, Pat and Anne Malone have reached a breaking point. Pat, chief actuary for a struggling American Airlines, has fallen into his drinking, using the burn of alcohol to hide the mental and physical toll of his recent MS diagnosis. Meanwhlie, Anne, his dutiful and devoutly Catholic wife, has been selected as a juror for a highly publicized attempted murder trial. For the first time, Anne's attention is wavering and the questions she's buried her entire life, about God and about men in power, begin to break through.
Together, Pat and Anne try to raise their only son, Daniel, a sophomore at Jesuit College Prep. Bright but unmotivated, Dan is aware of the cracks in his family, but reprieve is found in his Honors English class, where he and his classmates are shocked into actual learning by their enigmatic teacher Mr. Oglesby. For once, Dan is unable to fly under the radar, and must ask himself what he might want to make of his life. With humor and tenderness, Sophomores captures the enduring poignancy of coming-of-age, teenage epiphanies and heartbreak, and family redemption.