That’s the question that confronts acclaimed novelist Nick Garrett when he returns home after being away for ten years. Once back home on October Road, he quickly discovers that the circle of friends whose teenaged lives he wrote about have since settled into blue collar careers and started families.
Nick became a New York literary success by writing about those early years, and he had Hollywood heavyweights lining up for roles. With his editor putting pressure on him for a follow-up, he finds himself at a crossroads… and with serious writer’s block.
Then comes an offer to teach a one-day course at Dufresne College, the small liberal arts school in his hometown of Knights Ridge, Massachusetts. Hoping to tap back into that which initially inspired him, he decides to head back.
Nick has had no contact with his family or the close-knit group of friends he said goodbye to shortly after high school graduation. He burned that connection when he used them as characters in his successful novel and, in the process, cast their lives in a less than flattering light. Consequently, the hometown response to his return is less than festive.
Nick’s friends include best friend Eddie Latekka, who is disappointed that Nick abandoned their dream of starting a business together; there’s also the good-hearted and straightforward Owen Rowan, whose family life appears the picture of perfection; the well-meaning but sometimes obnoxious Ikey; and Physical Phil, a lovable recluse since 9/11 who has adapted to living his life indoors.
Before he left town, Nick told his high school girlfriend, Hannah Daniels, that he’d be back in six weeks. Now ten years later, the jilted but never-married Hannah has decided to forget Nick’s unfulfilled promise and moved on with her life. She is a single mom raising her nine-year-old son, the bright and charming Sam. Hannah is involved with Ray “Big Cat” Cataldo, the former high school bully whose mission in life has been to bestow misery on the lives of Nick and his friends.
Nick makes a new friend when he meets Aubrey, a pretty college student and fledgling writer whose Bohemian style intrigues him. While he sorts things out, he moves into his childhood home with his father, a widower affectionately referred to as The Commander.
Nick realizes he has several reasons for staying in Knights Ridge. He wants to apologize to everyone for whatever broken promises he may have made, and to make up for how he portrayed them in his book. He also sees coincidences indicating that Hannah’s son, Sam, might be his.
Although Nick doesn’t regret fulfilling his mother’s dying wish of experiencing life outside of Knights Ridge, he finds himself oddly wanting to tie up loose ends at home, but realizes the path ahead of him is a rocky one. In spite of any love bruised or lost between his friends and family, Nick embraces the familiarity of his former life and struggles to be included again among those he let down.
“October Road” stars Bryan Greenberg as Nick Garrett, Laura Prepon as Hannah Daniels, Tom Berenger as The Commander, Warren Christie as Ray “Big Cat” Cataldo, Brad William Henke as Owen Rowan, Evan Jones as Ikey, Jay Paulson as Physical Phil, Slade Pearce as Sam Daniels, Geoff Stults as Eddie Latekka and Odette Yustman as Aubrey.
The series is executive-produced by Gary Fleder, Scott Rosenberg, Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec and Peter Tortorici, and is a joint production between ABC Television Studio and GroupM Entertainment.