Nicky Flynn is coming of age in 1970's Brooklyn, riding into his sophomore year at St. Michaels, the last hurrah of the Diocesan school system. A budding young actor, Nicky is at once sensitive, resiliant, exasperated, and keenly observant - especially when it comes to his father, Patrick. Undeniably enigmatic, and coasting on vanity, charm, and desperation, "Himself," as Nicky calls his father, is given to picking up old junker cars for cheap at NYPD auctions - each sputtering, tail-finned treasure subsidized by poker games. To Patrick, these chrome glamour tanks are his obsessions, repairable reminders of the past when he was young, and everything seemed new and gleaming and possible - before he had a family. For Nicky, each one is a milestone. Whether it's a harrowing joy ride or a driving lesson, they're unforgettable markers on his path toward an unpredictable future. But as Patrick's compulstions slide into alcoholism and violence, Nicky, his mother, and his sisters brace themselves for an inevitable sharm turn in their rattled lives.