"What a vibrant, propulsive, wildly intelligent and big-hearted slice of life Sophomores is, an intricate portrait of a family in crisis rendered with a great deal of humor and compassion. I loved this family, this corner of the world, this novel." -Claire Lombardo, author of The Most Fun We Ever Had

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 fall 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, faced with a debilitating MS diagnosis, has fallen into his drinking. Anne, his devoutly Catholic wife, is selected as a juror for a highly publicized attempted murder trial, one that raises questions--about God, and about men in power--she has buried her entire life. Together, they try to raise their only son, Daniel, a bright but unmotivated student who is shocked into actual learning by an enigmatic English teacher. For once, Dan is unable to fly under the radar, and is finally asked to consider what he might want to make of his life.

With humor and tenderness, Sophomores brilliantly captures the enduring poignancy of coming of age, teenage epiphanies and heartbreak, and family redemption.
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